- Tomorrow night an advertisement for the Everest racing event will be displayed on the Sydney Opera House.
- The NSW government’s decision to allowed the ad to be projected on the world heritage-listed site has been met with criticism.
- Prime minister Scott Morrison has backed the government’s decision calling the landmark the “biggest billboard Sydney has”.
- NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has ensured that the ad “will be in good taste”.
Social media has poured scorn on NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian’s decision to allow advertising for the world’s richest turf race, the $13 million Everest, to be displayed on the side of the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House.
The decision came after radio commentator shock jock and avid racing fan Alan Jones questioned Opera House chief executive Louise Herron last week over her initial refusal to allow the advertising to be projected onto the sails.
Jones said during the terse exchange: “We own the Opera House. Do you get that message? You don’t. You manage it.”
“Who the hell do you think … who do you think you are?” he demanded.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison supported Jones, calling the iconic landmark the “biggest billboard Sydney has”. Federal MP Anthony Albanese agreed, telling ABC Sydney that people should “chill out a bit” and it was okay to use the Opera House as a “billboard”.
However, a lot of Australians think it’s a terrible decision. At the time of publication, an online petition to keep the Opera House ad-free had amassed over 150,000 signatures.
Today, Berejiklian said people should “wait and see” the ad before they rushed to judgement, adding that it “will be in good taste”.
“It’s important for us to promote our major events (and) I believe the tomorrow evening strikes that right balance,” she said.
“I’m very comfortable that what will be displayed tomorrow night (will be) keeping with what the residents of NSW expect.”
Many people have taken to social media to vent their frustration at the advertising takeover, which will take place from tomorrow.
Here’s what they had to say.
Why would you call the Sydney Opera House a "billboard" when it's clearly a "four sail sign"?
— Adam Liaw (@adamliaw) October 7, 2018
The Sydney Opera House is not a giant billboard. It's a heritage listed site. It should be protected. Shall we put neon signs on Uluru? No. This whole argument is meant to be divisive. Low politics
— David Campbell (@DavidCampbell73) October 7, 2018
Headline should read, #AlanJones instructs #GladysBerejiklian to order #SydneyOperaHouse to display horse race ad! But why stop there? Let's turn #OperaHouse into a billboard for betting, alcohol & any old ad! Perhaps political advertising, too!? ???? #nswpol
— Robert Fairhead ???????? (@tallandtrue) October 5, 2018
The Prime Minister calls the Opera House "The biggest billboard Sydney has."
In the words of the late Chippy Frilingos, "That'll do me!"
Is there anything not for sale in the PM's world?#auspol https://t.co/h3YN7nO4TM
— Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) October 7, 2018
Why we should allow betting odds on the Sydney Opera House: pic.twitter.com/qG9Kob6c0v
— Ron Erdos (@RonErdos) October 7, 2018
Looks like Sydney has an ugly new billboard.#SydneyOperaHouse
— GOAT (@GOAT_aus) October 6, 2018
This looks officially shithouse, looks like a pub TV on the blink, and is half of why the Sydney Opera House should never be used for ads, only for art. https://t.co/WY09b1BHBT
— Kaz Cooke (@reallykazcooke) October 5, 2018
— Schwarmerei1 (@schwarmerei1) October 6, 2018
Hey Prime Minister, our wonderful #SydneyOperaHouse may be a lot of things – a global icon, a great place to catch a concert, a national treasure – but one thing it absolutely is not is a billboard. Not everything is about making a bloody buck.
— Richard Di Natale (@RichardDiNatale) October 8, 2018
What do a new PM, a race riot, and free advertising for a horse racing thing on the Sydney Opera House have in common? Alan Jones calling for them on air and then those things happening is what.
— Pearson In The Wind (@LukeLPearson) October 5, 2018
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