Ad rage Kiwi doesn't cop it sweet

Last updated 15:03 28/05/2012
FAIRFAX MEDIA

An advertisement produced by WIN Television pokes fun at New Zealanders to promote homewares.

Kiwi advert
UP IN ARMS: The Knockonwood advert allegedly touched a raw nerve with one New Zealander in Australia.

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A disgruntled Kiwi has been hit with a string of charges after losing his cool over an Australian TV advert poking fun at the New Zealand accent.

The 44-year-old Griffith man allegedly assaulted and intimidated a WIN television employee on Friday in an apparent payback for the station airing a Knockonwood television advert that features two animated kookaburras speaking with thick New Zealand accents, the Area News reported.

The satirical ad shows the kookaburras saying "sweet as, bro" and "choice, bro" - slang terms often associated with Kiwis.

The man allegedly abused the furniture store's staff over the phone on Friday before turning up at WIN's Yambil Street offices and demanding to know who authorised the advert.

Police claim he assaulted a male member of the station's advertising staff during the altercation.

He was later arrested and charged with misuse of a telecommunications device, intimidation, common assault, resisting arrest and intimidating police.

Paul Pierotti, managing director of Knockonwood's parent company, the Caesar Group, said the incident had not convinced him to take the advert off air.

"We had no intention of offending anyone ... if anything, it's just a bit of light-hearted fun," Pierotti said.

"It's part of the culture of both Australia and New Zealand to poke fun at each other.

"At the end of the day, we wanted to create an ad that cut through and sometimes to do that you have to go for a novelty angle.

"We are really sorry if anyone found that offensive."

The accused has been released on conditional bail and will front Griffith Local Court on June 13.

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