A marketing campaign launched this week to promote the value of coal burning to the Australian public went down like a lead balloon on social media.
“Whichever way you look at it, this little black rock provides many benefits to our economy, wages, infrastructure and everyday lifestyle,” the new campaign from the Minerals Council of Australia says.
“Coal. It’s an amazing thing.”
The campaign appeared on TV, in print and online this week. It directs people to the website littleblackrock.com.au, where viewers can read about the important role of coal in society, its benefits, the evolution of coal technology, and the future of coal.
The campaign was accepted by some. One commenter on the media and marketing site Mumbrella wrote, “Nothing this ad said was wrong. Plus, coal is the reason we had the industrial revolution – you know, that thing that is responsible for everything you currently have and hold dear.”
News Corp commentator Andrew Bolt shared the advertisement, writing, “The Minerals Council of Australia starts fighting for an industry which will be up against the wall should Labor and the Greens triumph at next year’s election.”
Others were not so accepting.
“Talk about fossil fuels,” one Mumbrella commenter wrote. “Sometimes the fossils are the ones peddling it.”
Another raised a salient point: “What tagline or idea … would NOT be lampooned by anti-coal exponents? I can’t think of one.”
Users of the popular online forum Reddit criticised the campaign for being “propaganda,” with one user labelling the video, “absolutely disgusting”.
“I really can’t believe that some people would agree to even be the voice over on this… I’m infuriated.”
On Twitter, the campaign was taken over with users employing the hashtag, #coalisamazing to criticise the coal industry.
— Greenpeace Aus Pac (@GreenpeaceAustP) September 7, 2015
— Jason Thompson (@Simulated_Jase) September 6, 2015
— Peter Martin Garrett (@petergarrett) September 6, 2015
— Max Phillips (@maxphillips) September 6, 2015
— Kerry Glover (@TheRealKerryG) September 7, 2015
Satirical news site The Shovel, meanwhile, had a somewhat light-hearted criticism of the campaign, along with the Abbott Government.
What do you think of the campaign? Has it been treated fairly? Is it a good idea? Share your thoughts below.