Entrepreneur and former Australian of the Year Dick Smith is furious his television advertisement for his all-Aussie food company filmed for Australia Day has been deemed too offensive for prime time television by the Advertising Standards Board.
The tongue-in-cheek advertisement, which plays on the famous monikor of the company, is saturated with “Dick” jokes and innuendo. It was created by Hungry Beast and Can of Worms comedian Dan Ilic on a budget of $10,000, and is styled on Sam Kekovich’s lamb ads to promote Dick Smith’s Aussie food products.
It opens with Mr Smith saying that Kekovich’s use of jingoistic patriotism to sell his products was as “wrong as a dead dingo’s donger” and features a cast of characters, from farmers to boat people, promoting their love of “Dick”.
One elderly woman says: “There’s only one Dick I’ll be eating on Australia Day.”
Mr Smith also encourages the audience to “chow down on my OzEnuts [peanut butter]” and “shake my OzEsauce [tomato sauce].”
Mr Smith had booked $100,000 of ad space during the 6pm news bulletins to broadcast the ad on Australia Day. To air during this time advertisements need a G rating, but the Advertising Standards Board gave the one-minute spot a PG rating.
Mr Smith has told Fairfax Media he is talking to lawyers about what can be done.
“The ad is harmless fun. Yes, it does have a couple of ‘Dick’ jokes, big deal,” Mr Smith said.
“I think it’s harmless, it’s good fun and these people should reverse their decision and on Australia Day let me run the damn thing. They’re talking about beeping it out and I said, ‘No’.
“The ad is not politically correct. See, everything has to be politically correct these days. What about the old larrikinism?”
Mr Smith is angry about the perceived censorship of the Advertising Standards decision, although it has been reported he initially did not like the concept of the ad when it was first presented to him.
“I’m not into dick jokes. I’m an old bloke, I’m 68,” Mr Smith said.
“But when I read it to all the workers here at Dick Smith Foods, and most of them are in their 20s and 30s, they just loved it. Oh, they rolled around the floor and they said, ‘This is the best ad ever’.”
Mr Ilic, who was hired by Smith to write the advertisement on the recommendation of Andrew Denton, wrote on his blog yesterday:
“I got a call from Dick Smith out of the blue just before Christmas. ‘Dan, I got your number from Andrew Denton, I want to make an ad.’ Why not? He’s an Australian legend. Sounds like fun.
“So I wrote the funniest script I thought I could muster on our tiny $10k budget. Then convinced Dick that it’d be fine to run with the innuendo and the boat people joke. (Which is my favourite considering Dick’s stance on population control.)
“So we shot it in two day (sic), and after another four days in post … and thought it was pretty funny. There was one group that didn’t think it was funny. The CAD approval people.”
Mr Ilic confirms Dick Smith was furious following the rating decision. Mr Ilic has stated Mr Smith sent him a “barrage of angry texts”.
In the texts Mr Smith states: “The fun police have banned my harmless fun aust day ad. The day of the aussie larrikin is clearly over” (sic).
Watch the full uncensored ad here: