Feeds

Telecom NZ invokes wrath of frisky rugby fans

No sex please, we’re All Blacks supporters

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Telecom New Zealand’s annual results announcement on Friday were overshadowed by a “torrid” marketing gaff.

New Zealand’s national carrier has been forced to kill a Saatchi & Saatchi created campaign, valued in the hundreds of thousands, called ‘Abstain for the Game’ which was set to run in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup.

The first TV advertisement, which was "leaked" ahead of its scheduled launch next week. features former All Black Sean Fitzpatrick - driving a car in the shape of a fist - calling on team supporters to abstain from sex in a show of support to the All Blacks.

Telecom NZ chief executive Paul Reynolds defended the campaign describing the humour “playing the role of best man at a wedding.”

"You know, we just told a slightly risque joke. It's hilarious to his mates last night but the bride's relatives didn't like it one bit,” he said. Reynolds conceded that the backlash was "awkward," and the ad was taken of context due to the leak.

“That's where it sits, and what can you do in those situations? Say 'sorry' and move on," he said at the company’s annual results.

The carrier’s initial defence of the campaign quickly dissipated into distancing themselves from it, in a 24 hour barrage of negativity. Telecom retail chief executive Alan Gourdie said "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 caused offence to some people, and for that we apologise."

Meanwhile, the company reported that its full-year profit more than halved after writing down the value of assets. Telecom New Zealand reported a 56.8 percent drop in net profit to $NZ164 million, from NZ$382 million in the previous year. The result included a NZ$257 million asset impairment charge.

The asset impairments related to the development of assets to comply with regulatory undertakings, the company said as it prepares for structural separation. Full-year earnings also included an NZ$18 million gain from the sale of the consumer unit of Australian subsidiary AAPT, NZ$42 million of costs associated with the earthquakes that struck the southern city of Christchurch, and NZ$29 million of spending on preparing the company’s bid to join the broadband project. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.