Ad agencies decline a Gruen Pitch

Last week I was lucky enough to visit The Gruen Transfer, an episode which included a first…

Yep it seems ad agencies had actually declined an invitation to make a fake ad for The Gruen Pitch.

What the?

Seems the topic left many of them ducking for cover.

Any guesses on what it was, guys?

Updated: The answer was….. Religion is bad for us and it should be banned.

MC at Gruen HQ, Wil Anderson, is joined at the desk by Russel Howcroft (GPY&R), Todd Sampson (Leo Burnett), Bridget Taylor (Contagion) and newcomer Sunita Gloster (Omnilab).

On tonight’s show:
The Billboard. There are about 9,000 billboard sites in Australia. It’s one of the only form of advertising we can’t switch off or turn the page to get away from. It’s also adopting technology, breaking free of its old-fashioned rectangular straight jacket. So, is it visual pollution or a highly effective way to hit your target market?

Random Acts of Kindness. One of advertising’s hottest trends, particularly insocial media. Brands are now targeting their customers to promote their products, showering them with gifts ad then hoping they’ll become ambassadors, spruiking to their friends and contacts. Is it stalking or building brand loyalty?

The Pitch:
In four seasons of Gruen, we’ve suggested bringing back child labour,invading new Zealand, euthanasing everyone over 80 and many more ridiculous ideas. This week, we finally found a subject so untouchable that we had agencies actually decline to take part. Adelaide’s Jim Stapleton came up with the controversial Pitch suggestion: a campaign to ban religion.

Loud & Clear and Play were the agencies ultimately brave enough to take on the brief.


  1. Congrats to the abc for having the balls to attempt something so apparently sacred in this so-called democratic world we live in. Some people and groups are much too precious.

  2. The agencies rejecting a topic begs the question why the ABC continues to make this grovelling apology for advertising categorising it as “entertainment”. The relationship is currently one of convenience with the ABC getting good ratings and the advertising industry getting good exposure. Any hard questions are never asked of the industry and when they do they will all run for cover. But they never really will be. And the ABC now advertises its network using advertising executives. There is something pretty sick about our public broadcaster in this equation. Perhaps it should be referred to its own charter.

  3. I agree with others that it’s likely to be about the evils of advertising…
    But what is with the “check back here later for the answer”, David? This isn’t an episode of The Biggest Loser.

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