Telecom statement: Backing Black not proceeding

Last updated 11:25 18/08/2011

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FULL CREDIT TO THE OPPOSITION: 'ABSTAIN' CAMPAIGN STOPPED BY TELECOM

Telecom announced today that it would not be proceeding with its 'Abstain for the Game' All Blacks supporters' campaign.

"New Zealanders' passion for the All Blacks, and our collective desire to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy on 23 October, is not something to be taken lightly," said Telecom's Retail chief executive Alan Gourdie.

"We designed the 'Abstain' campaign with the best of intentions, and attempted to strike a humorous tone in order to rally even more support behind the All Blacks, but we got it wrong.

"We misjudged public feeling, which in reaction to yesterday's partial revelations in the news media was overwhelmingly negative.

"No excuses. We caused offence to some people, and for that we apologise.

"The 'Abstain' campaign may be gone, even before it properly kicked off, but what isn't changing is Telecom's 100% support for the best rugby team in the world - the All Blacks.

"Our BackingBlack fan club continues to attract fanatical All Blacks supporters and will remain Telecom's rallying point for our team as we go into the tournament.

"Full credit to the opposition. We listened to your views, and we have acted quickly to change our game plan," said Mr Gourdie.

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