Kiwis red-faced over All Blacks’ ‘no sex’ campaign
New Zealand’s rugby fans are being urged not to have sex during the World Cup, and they’re not amused
It's not usually until the later stages of the World Cup that things go wrong for the New Zealand rugby team, but this time round, the All Blacks have been made a laughing stock before the tournament has even begun, thanks to a campaign urging Kiwis to refrain from having sex during the tournament.
The bizarre ads are being fronted by former captain Sean Fitzpatrick, a member of the only All Black team ever to win the William Webb Ellis trophy - back in 1987. Ironically, perhaps, his position was hooker.
Phone company NZ Telecom is behind the 'Abstain for the Blacks' campaign, but it also has the backing of the NZRU, and will feature on the All Blacks' fan site, BackingBlack, when it officially launches next week.
Apparently those who pledge not to indulge in any rumpy-pumpy during the seven-week tournament will be sent a black rubber finger ring.
According to the New Zealand Herald, the campaign will have the slogan: 'Touch, pause and don't engage' and ads encouraging abstinence will be placed on bus shelters around the country. The paper also claims there were plans for signs above urinals in bars and restaurants reading: "Think of your mum in a bikini - Abstain for the All Blacks". That idea was later abandoned.
Although the ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi believes the campaign is edgy, there has been widespread ridicule in New Zealand.
"I think this thing is a bloody embarrassment," one marketer told the Herald. "The rest of the world will take the piss out of us. This will be much better sport than the rugby. It's inexplicable."
Other critics have pointed out that fans seen wearing the black rings are likely to get short shrift from other supporters. Kiwis seemed most worried by the likely reaction of England and Australia fans.
One All Black fan asked his opinion of the idea said: "Dumb, dumb, dumb, that's just dumb."
New Zealanders are particularly sensitive about their rugby team, especially during the World Cup. Although the All Blacks are renowned as the best team in the world they always seem to choke on the biggest stage of all. But this year, with the tournament being held on home turf, there are high hopes that the team can keep their heads and avoid a premature ejection. ·