You would have had to have been paying very close attention but if you were you would have seen the disgusting defacement of our national flag by Fosters.
It is something that companies in England have done for a while and it is something of a necessary evil (well sort of). Companies produce English flags, but put their logos on them, and then give them away or sell them cheap with the result being that lots of houses and cars would fly the English flag and patriotism would be displayed. It always made for a great spectacle around World Cup time.
However, it never sat well with me. A country’s flag is one of its most purist symbols and there are rules governing its use both in order to protect it and what it represents.
You may remember Dick Smith (2001) landing himself in hot water for defacing the Australian flag and breaking the rules when he used it on the packaging in his grocery line.
He got busted because the rules are set out in Australian Flags, released by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Under the heading "Commercial use of the flag or flag image” it states explicitly and unambiguously, (quote):
> The flag should be used in a dignified manner and reproduced completely and accurately
> The flag should not be defaced by overprinting with words or illustration
You can see why Dick got himself in hot water.
So, last Friday night, as Marcus North became the 18th Australian to score a century on debut, the camera panned to a section of the crowd with Aussie supporters in it … and there it was, a jubilant fan waving an Aussie flag with the Fosters logo emblazoned across it. Clearly in breach of the guidelines of its use.
With the Australian team sponsored by VB and the South Africans being sponsored by Castle (a South African beer), I couldn’t help, in my cynical mind, wonder if this was some sort of ambush marketing and that Fosters reps were handing out Fosters sponsored flags for supporters to take into the ground and display.
Or maybe it was a poorly executed attempt to strengthen the overseas perception that Fosters is the beer drunk by all Australians.
Are you disgusted by it as much as I am or do you think that all is fair in love and war?