AUSSIE AIRLINE Qantas has decided to censor an anti-online censorship advert on its flights.
Online activist group GetUp's had created an advert called "Censordyne" and planned to run the parody ad on all Qantas flights into Canberra to ensure it was seen by politicians and their staff members.
Simon Sheikh, chief executive of GetUp, told the Sydney Morning Herald Qantas refused to run the ad, which lampoons the Government's forthcoming Internet filtering scheme, saying it had a long-standing policy not to run "political advertising".
If that was not bad enough, GlaxoSmithKline, which owns the Sensodyne brand, on which the parody campaign is based, said it was considering legal action against GetUp.
It is miffed that it was not consulted over the campaign and did not endorse GetUp's use of the word "Censordyne".
"GSK are currently considering its options in relation to any potential action regarding this matter," a GlaxoSmithKline spokesman said.
The advert promotes a product called Censordyne which promises to offer "unproven, ineffective relief from internet nasties", protection "against fast internet" and a "fresh multimillion-dollar flavour".
Sheikh dubbed Qantas's move as "ridiculous". The airline had already given the pressure group a quote for the advert and was running political news and political satire shows on its flights including The Hollowmen and The Chaser.
Of course this little splash probably has cost GetUp nothing and proved just as effective as preaching to thick politicians on airline flights. Qantas just looks silly and on the side of censorship. And meanwhile the advert is spreading virally on Youtube. Win-win there we think. µ
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