How Australian are Clive Palmer’s election campaign ads?

How Australian are Clive Palmer’s election campaign ads?


Clive Palmer’s party campaign ads are about bringing jobs and money back to Australia but ironically, some of his ads may not be all made in Australia.

A proportion of video footage used in Clive Palmer’s election campaign appears to have been bought from Eastern European and US stock image creators with foreign actors posing as Australian families.

Greg Ferris, a filmmaker and UTS senior lecturer in the Media Arts & Production Program, found the use of cheaper foreign images hypocritical.

“It’s the irony of being seen to push the agenda of pro-Australia and that your pro-spending money in Australia, when in fact you’re just doing stuff as cheap as possible and not even using Australian content,” said Mr Ferris.

Mr Ferris discovered the discrepancy after watching the ads broadcast on Channel Ten’s The Project.

“I didn’t feel like it was shot in Australia,” he said.  And after a simple Google search, he said: “It was one of the first images that came up and the stock footage creator was in the Ukraine.”

One of the ads with over 1.2 million views on Youtube, presents three shots of stock video footage all of which are from foreign creators.

The ad, shown in the first 10 seconds, includes shots of a group meeting, a young girl with a construction yellow hat and a happy family sitting on a bench at the beach with Clive Palmer’s voiceover: “Bring back from overseas, a trillion dollars of Australian super, inject it into the Australian economy, save your families future – vote one United Australia party”.

The slogan is clear, emotive and increases anxiety about foreign entities impinging on the lives of Australians.

“In this case, it’s investing your money in Ukrainian families by the sounds of it,” said Mr Ferris.

“It’s a disservice to Australian media industries who are hungry for work and who would have been more than capable to do the job.”

Shannon Hadley, managing partner of Real Clicks, an Australian media advertising company said it’s disappointing from a media advertising business perspective.

Even our political leaders are buying off-shore because they know it is much cheaper.

“It does annoy me, with how he has produced his video [because] it’s in keeping with the trend of the Australian Government not supporting Australian industry,” he said.

“Even our political leaders are buying off-shore because they know it is much cheaper.”

Hadley added: “He had an opportunity to create jobs and support businesses that have just been through hell and back because of COVID.”

So why would Australian companies use cheap stock images from abroad?

Industry sources say shooting and producing video footage in Australia is more expensive compared to buying from stock footage sites. For example, the video clip of a happy family at the beach cost the United Australia party $39. Recreating those images with an Australian media company may cost thousands.

Hadley said his company buys some resources from overseas but added, “the core problem with what he is doing is off-brand”.

Clive Palmer announced $100 million would be spent on advertising during the election.

The United Australia Party was asked by Central News for comment but has not responded. The advertising agency, that produced the ad, said they were not able to comment.

Main image of Clive Palmer in the ‘Make Australia Great Campaign’. Credit: Mike Cogh/Creative Commons