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Qantas launches diversity campaign amid Sky News boycott controversy


Qantas launches diversity campaign amid Sky News boycott controversy


Qantas has launched its latest TVC celebrating Australian diversity while a petition builds calling for the airline to cut ties with Sky News following a controversial interview.

The 60 second spot opens with a monologue from Hugh Jackman on the importance of diversity and the Australian spirit, as he strolls along Sydney’s Maroubra Beach. Qantas says the TVC is part of the airline’s “longstanding support for equality and inclusion.”“We carry over 50 million people a year from all walks of life,” says Qantas group executive, Vanessa Hudson. “We have over 30,000 people working at Qantas who represent a cross section of the community. We don’t all think, look or act the same and that’s a huge asset.”

Earlier this month, Sky News aired an episode of The Outsiders featuring controversial comments made by Senator David Leyonhjelm regarding Senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s sex life.

The episode airing over Qantas lounges across the nation sparked rage online, spurring a petition calling for the airline to “cease its commercial relationship with Sky News and choose either a news organisation with a belief in the tradition of fairness and balance, or just play cartoons or something instead.” 

The petition, filed by Sleeping Giants Oz on change.org, has over 36,000 signatures at press time.

More recently, Sky News aired an interview which sparked even further outrage with infamous United Patriots Front founder and convicted criminal Blair Cottrell, hosted by Adam Giles, which also played over Qantas’ network. Several brands including Huggies, Specsavers and American Express have dropped deals with Sky News Australia since the interview aired.

In 2015 Blair Cottrell staged a gruesome fake beheading in Bendigo to protest the building of a mosque, and more recently has become known for calling on all Australian schools to display portrait of Adolf Hitler. Sky News has since removed the interview from distribution.

“We wanted to deliver a message that spoke to the great work Qantas does in promoting

equality in Australia,” says director of the spot Josh Whiteman.

“Their extensive partnerships with some of Australia’s most influential and successful brands and personalities was an incredible opportunity to bring equality, inclusion and diversity to the fore, not just in business but across the whole community.”


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Josh Loh

Josh Loh is assistant editor at MarketingMag.com.au

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