ONLINE AD GETS UNI ALL TIED UP

By LEE McDOUGALL

SEX sells. I know it, you know it, marketing and promotion agencies know it.

So when Southern Cross University came to developing a new web-based advertising campaign for their mid-year intake, they deliberately chose a cheeky advertisement to help grab the attention in what is a very competitive market.

SCU attracts enrolments from throughout Australia, including the competitive university markets of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

The campaign's website, beentiedupforawhile.com, originally contained a 30-second movie but following several vocal complaints to the university, the movie part of the campaign was pulled from the website yesterday morning.

The movie featured a man knocking on the door of a unit and being told: "Come in. The door's open."

He then proceeds inside, sits on the lounge and is met with the sight of a female, presumably his girlfriend, standing at the bedroom door, dressed in what is perhaps best described as a bondage outfit ? black stockings, tight corset and a whip.

The voice-over posed the question: 'Have you been tied up for a while?' with the implication being that if you have been busy but now want to begin university study, then the option of a mid-year intake is available at SCU.

"The theme of the campaign website, beentiedupforawhile, reflects that there are many people in the community who may have wanted to go to university, but for various reasons, they have been diverted from this path ? they have been tied up for a while doing other things," a SCU spokesperson said.

"The internet clip is not a television ad and was only ever intended to sit on the campaign website as one part of the overall strategy. It was designed to be deliberately cheeky and was intended to be amusing."

Unfortunately, while universities are often seen as places where free speech is fiercely defended and the right to question and buck the system is often encouraged, it appears that conformity and prudish sensibility has won through.

"The web ad has now come down after listening to some objections to it from within the university, but the campaign website can still be found at beentiedupforawhile.com," the spokesperson said.

Anyone interested in enrolling mid-year can visit the website or phone 1300 857 559.



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