Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand and CEO Kevin Roberts misjudged just how passionate All Blacks fans can be when they made this campaign encouraging fans to "abstain for the game". What fans do in the bedroom ain't nobody elses business but theirs. Mocked in cartoons on sports pages, ridiculed by people who work for telecom, this idea just didn't take off with the public. The campaign opened with this ad, and there were also plans to have sheep and models in bikinis parading through through Auckland with the message "abstain from sex". (Sheep, geddit? Ha ha)
The All Black abstinence campaign was ditched only 24 hours after it aired, and the telecoms chief executive Alan Gourdie said in a leaked email to staff: "It's been a torrid 24 hours in the glare of public spotlight, as well as in that of our own team's views and opinions. Nothing like a full and frank exchange of views!"
Frank exchange? Worldwide public ridicule more like it. Australias The Daily Telegraph said: "OH dear. The Kiwis are so fearful of another failed World Cup they have bizarrely decided that a national sex ban will somehow get them there.". The Washington post said: "A lesser-known characteristic of many Kiwis: they have a bit of an inferiority complex."