Does this bizarre campaign win you over? 19



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You know those jokes about selling ice to eskimos and coal to Newcastle? Well, bear those in mind as you watch this new ad by the Minerals Council of Australia.

Shot as if it were a new Apple device, the eye-catching TV ad shows an extreme closeup of a lump of coal, glittering with possibility.

A voiceover explains the “endless possibilities” of coal, claiming the coal mining industry provides $40 billion a year to Australia’s economy.

“It can now reduce its emissions by up to 40 per cent. It’s coal. Isn’t it amazing what this little black rock can do?”

The major ad campaign is designed to remind us how dependent we are on coal, reminding us it creates light, jobs and steel as well as claiming that new technology will drastically slash its emissions.

Obviously environmental groups were quick to criticise the campaign, with Kelly O’Shanassy, chief executive of the Australian Conservation Foundation saying, “This is a ludicrous ad. Coal is a dangerous little black rock. Every climate scientist and almost every politician in the world knows that coal is very polluting and very dangerous. The only people who don’t get that are the Minerals Council and our government.

“I’m glad that the Minerals Council has woken up to the 18th century potential of coal. I can’t wait until they see the 21st century potential of renewable energy.”

Blair Palese, of climate campaign group, said, “This desperate ad is a figment of the Mineral Council’s imagination and cannot stand up to the reality of renewables cutting into the market with very little support. People will see through this but sadly there is no transition plan to renewables in Australia.”

The hashtag #coalisamazing has been trending on social media but, sadly for the Minerals Council, most of the tweets were not what they were looking for.

Take a look at the ad and tell us – does this make you want to rush out burn coal?


What do you think of this ad? Are you sold on coal?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I come from Newcastle it is probably the biggest Coal Mining town in the world and no I am not sold on coal at all,many have lost their jobs in the mines and many engineering works have shut down in my city. But the long term consequences for future generations is not good if we continue to use coal .

  2. Coal served its purpose in the past but it’s use by date is well and truly over , it causes more harm than good now, time to move on to renewables so our grandchildren have a future

  3. It’s time to leave coal behind and put energy and money into solutions for the future, rather than cling to the past. Leave the coal in the ground.

  4. Well why not . We sell it to China. What do you think they do with it. It’s not the big boogie man they are trying to convince us of. Besides it is the cheapest form of assistance for power.By the way the chimney stack they always show us from the coal mines is bellowing out steam (chèck it out)

  5. Fossil fuel, including coal is required for base load fuel. Don’t be foolish enough to believe that Denmark is fully reliant in renewable. They aren’t. They buy 60% of their power through the interconnected grid from countries like Gerrmany. Power produced by fossil fuels. One day, but not today or any time soon.

  6. I believe coal is required in the manufacture of iron and some fertilizers, I can’t believe we can cease mining of coal, as long as we use other methods to produce energy we will have the biggest impact on fossil fuel use.

  7. Coal is an out of date pre, technology product, well past it’s use by date, why are’t we embracing renewable energy products? 2015 get with it.

  8. What we’re seeing,is this government tripping over itself to get as many gaping holes dug as speedily as possible,because they know coal is gasping its last! There is a lot to be gained in certain sectors and greed is running this show! How they sleep at night is the question. Renewables are the way forward and their obstruction of this process is nothing short of wicked.

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