NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she would consider using the the Sydney Opera House for advertising again, despite strong backlash and protests from thousands of Australians.
This morning, Berejiklian said she didn’t want the state to “fall behind” in tourism.
“Obviously we are always about supporting events. I hear loudly what people have said about the Opera House,” she told Channel 9’s the Today Show.
“The Opera House guidelines have from time to time been amended, whether it’s for other sporting events or other causes. The guidelines have always been stretched in the part and the commercialisation of the Opera House has always been there.
“I hear what people have said about what they want to see the Opera House used for and what they don’t want to see it used for.
“As Premier of NSW have to balance those decisions. I don’t want NSW to fall behind because other cities and states are promoting these events. These are issues that we take on board,” she said.
A survey taken Monday night of 903 NSW residents showed that 80% of respondents were opposed to the decision to overrule Opera House management and allow the projections of $13 million horse race The Everest to go ahead.
It’s not the first time that Opera House management have had their objections to the commercialisation of the iconic white sails overruled.
According to The Australian, management attempted to block an Ashes cricket display earlier this year before quiet intervention from the NSW government.
Those ads wet live on the sails in January, with much less uproar. The sails have also been used to advertise Australian rugby union team The Wallabies, and artistic projections during the annual Sydney Vivid light festival have been beamed onto the sails in recent years.
The situation with The Everest advertising was brought to light by 2GB radio shock jock Alan Jones last week, who initiated a terse and uncomfortable exchange with Opera House CEO Louise Herron on his breakfast radio program, where he strongly questioned her decision to decline The Everest CEO Peter V’landys request for the promotion.
He has since apologised, saying that he regretted the argument and offending her.
Thousands of people gathered at the Opera House site last night to partake in a peaceful “light-based” protest, where they shone lights at the advertising projections in the hope it would make the ads less clear.
Even though the 6-minute ad had been toned down from initial proposals, people took to social media to vent their frustration at the advertising being given the go-ahead.
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