The significant influence newspaper advertising can have on society has been demonstrated by the response to a full- page advertisement in a national newspaper last month.
The advertisement, commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality (AME) in The Australian, showcased 50 corporate businesses in support of its cause, including Qantas, PwC, Commonwealth Bank, Optus, Google, Virgin, Westpac, David Jones and ANZ.
Following a strong positive response, a second advertisement was published several weeks later, with 150 businesses involved. To date, 442 businesses now have registered their support.
Deputy director of AME Ivan Hinton-Teoh believes the print ad resonated because it reflected the level of support for marriage equality that exists in the community.
“So, its significance continues to reverberate because it has provided other organisations, and small businesses, an opportunity of participating in something that is obviously significant to them in a way that no other platform has provided,” he said.
The simplicity of the advertisement was a major contributor to achieving this successful response, according to Mr Hinton-Teoh.
“I think the campaign that we ran had, at its essence, simpli
city. And the platform of newspapers has an element of simplicity, and power in that simplicity, that on a single page were able to demonstrate enormous power, enormous strength for this reform,” he said.
Mr Hinton-Teoh sees the support from corporate businesses as a positive change to society.
“Corporates have a tendency of being defined as without soul and without conscience, and I think this is a significant step in Australian corporate culture to recognise the significance of this social justice issue,” he said.
Other newspapers have since followed suit, running similar advertising campaigns in their papers. Joining the campaign are the South Western Times, the Goulburn Post, and the Bendigo Advertiser.
As a result of the advertisement in the Bendigo Advertiser, Mr Hinton-Teoh said a woman came into a local store featured and spoke to a person behind the counter.
“She said to him: ‘Because you appeared in this ad to support marriage equality, finally my son had the courage to come out to his family; finally my son has the courage to be who he is, to recognise that he is supported by our local community,” he said.
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