Swedish backpackers Viktor Thunblom and Lisa Damberg are a little confused about the latest advertising campaign from Tourism A
Swedish backpackers Viktor Thunblom and Lisa Damberg are a little confused about the latest advertising campaign from Tourism A

What?s the bloody problem?

By BIANCA CLARE

BACKPACKER Andy English can't understand what all the fuss is about.

"It's all a bit of fun and it shows the good old Aussie sense of humour," the Scotsman said while poolside at the YHA Coffs Harbour.

Andy, and it appears most of the Coffs Coast tourist industry, was yesterday talking about the controversial Australian tourism campaign that is asking the world: "So where the bloody hell are you?"

The advertisements, which will go to air in the US, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Korea, Germany and New Zealand over the next six weeks, have caused a storm around town because of their use of the famous Australian adjective.

Having been in Australia one month, Andy praised the wording used in the $180-million advertising campaign and said it wouldn't do anything to turn him off travelling to Australia.

"The tagline works well in getting the Aussie culture across to global travellers," he said.

"That you have friendly people, a great environment and a laidback attitude.

"Seeing something like that in the middle of wet Glasgow would certainly attract you to Australia."

The advertisements feature traditional images of the Opera House, camels on a beach, wilderness and marine life, but it is the words that have caught people's attention. Some say they are offended by the words 'bloody' and 'hell', while others believe that the message may not be understood in other cultures.

"I don't think many people in Asia will understand what you're trying to get across with the words bloody hell," said Aska Narama from Osaka, Japan.

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"People will be interested in what activities you can do in Australia from the beautiful pictures, but I don't think the message will get across.

"What does bloody mean, anyway?"

Fellow backpacker James Hancock from Chichester, UK, also had concerns over the advertisement.

"In the UK it might have the opposite effect.

"I like the part that says 'we've poured you a beer, we've shampooed the camel, we've got the roos off the green, and we've got the sharks out of the pool', but by then asking, 'so where the bloody hell are you' some people might see it as Australians having bad manners."

Having only arrived in Coffs Harbour yesterday, Viktor Thunblom and Lisa Damberg, from southern Sweden, were shocked by the in-your-face nature of the campaign.

"Hell is a much harsher word when translated into Swedish.

"Here in Australian it is just a figure of speech but in Swe- den it could all get a bit ugly.



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