Uke-strumming school turned off by soft-porn rival

JO MOIR
Last updated 05:00 29/04/2011

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A school is crying foul that a video linked to a soft-core porn website has destroyed its chances of winning a nationwide ukulele competition.

Tiny Uruti School, which has only eight pupils, had been running second in the competition, which requires contestants to upload to YouTube a video of them playing the ukulele and singing the Hitachi song.

But in the last week a video focusing heavily on a ukulele player's cleavage has surged to the front.

It has drawn thousands of hits – which mean votes – because it is linked to an R18 website. Its tally last night was nearing 400,000, while the nearest competitor has a mere 37,000 votes.

Uruti principal Pauline Sutton said she had been left feeling sick about ever entering the competition.

"I think Hitachi is making a huge mistake and are showing a complete lack of moral standards.

"Now we're being discriminated against because our supporters are no longer voting for us because they can't protect their children from going online and watching these other videos."

Hitachi sales and marketing manager Todd Parkin said he was aware of complaints being made about the video, which only recently entered the competition.

"All entrants will now have to provide us with statistics detailing what sites their votes came from and if we deem those sites to be inappropriate or unacceptable within the spirit of the competition then they will be disqualified."

He said that until the competition closed and Hitachi received voting statistics from all the entrants he was unable to comment on any possibility of disqualification.

"If they have used websites that are deemed inappropriate or unacceptable then we will deal with that then."

Mrs Sutton said Uruti School took online safety seriously but was now part of a competition that did not support it.

The competition, which awards a $10,000 cash prize, has been running since March 28 and closes at 10 o'clock tonight.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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