100% Pure You? Anna Faris May Think Otherwise

It’s official, New Zealand is no longer 100% Pure.

Tourism New Zealand recently launched a new advertising campaign that pushes the 100% pure emphasis off of the country and onto the individual that visits it.

Shame then that Anna Feris didn’t feel 100% Pure when she was in NZ shooting the movie  Yogi Bear.

She attracted the wrong sort of attention from middle aged men in cars whilst walking through Auckland, when they shouted a barrage of highly offensive and sexual abuse at the popular Hollywood Star.

The  travel section of the Syndey Morning Herald covered New Zealand’s new 100% Pure You campaign saying

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said research suggested New Zealand could increase its appeal as a holiday destination by personalising its marketing message and focusing on more than scenery.

“We have identified people around the world already considering travelling here and the addition of You to the successful 100% Pure New Zealand advertising message is a logical step that will benefit the tourism industry by highlighting the individual experiences on offer,” Bowler said.

Tourism New Zealand’s new marketing campaign…includes online banner ads and TV commercials showcasing the experiences of a young woman jetboating, a middle-aged father taking his children tramping, and a young woman horse-riding. All the commercials feature the 100% Pure You tagline.

But Anna Faris has  highlighted another very individual experience that young women are being offered in New Zealand. Sexual Harassment.


The Herald reported on an interview she gave in the US, in which she recounted her experiences of visiting  New Zealand

“I’m walking home, I’ve got my backpack on, got my jeans on, and this carload of guys – they were like in their 40s, from what I could glimpse – they said, ‘f*ck you, as*hole’.”

Lopez asked her why they had shouted the obscenities.

She replied: “I don’t know, and, like, three minutes later, a car full of older gentlemen said, ‘show me your tits, you stupid bitch’.

“I was like, you tell me where you are at – I’m going to go home to your place and I’m going to show you a good time with that kind of treatment? Oh, yeah.”

Surprising then that instead of apologising to Ms Faris for her experience and offering to give her some more positive memories to take away about New Zealand,  Ian Long – a spokesman for Tourism NZ –  chose instead to denigrate her further and with one swift move plunged the status of women in NZ back into the dark ages. Is it normal to’ blame the victim’ like this in NZ?

According to the Herald report

Tourism NZ spokesman Ian Long said no one would take Faris seriously.

“In the same segment, she accepts an award for being a pothead stoner of the year and she’s quite clearly had a few. I don’t think she has any credibility,” he said.

Long’s attack on Faris was echoed by New Zealanders approached in the street, some of whom appeared to blame Faris for the abuse.

One man said that if she was famous she must expect “attention”; a woman said she “gets her tits out” in movies so shouldn’t be surprised at the public reaction.

And then went to include some thoughts from the public at large which included this one

Sam Aki, Male, 25

“She looks like the type of woman who would get that sort of attention. She’s giving Kiwi blokes a bad reputation. If she’s famous she must expect that everywhere she goes.”

Hardly surprising  is that the new tourism campaign has cut little ice in Australia, perhaps the Aussies know a fake when they see one?  Some of them commented to the SMH:

  • Normally I have no problem with change, but I don’t like this change! It sounds tacky. The original one was honest, and sold the beauty that is New Zealand. Now it sounds like something a car salesman would come up with.
  • If I take the time and trouble to go overseas, it’s because I want to see people and places that are different to my usual experience. Why would I go overseas for “me”? I can see me at home.
  • I was there for a week – first time and last time. SO cold, raining all the time, absolutely horrible if you take out the view which is the only thing going for it. 100% “poor” you, if you go.

Why should the type of women depicted in the ads want to travel to New Zealand and risk subjecting themselves to the unwanted abuse that Anna Faris attracted?

Hardly surprising is it that New Zealand has the highest number of women as a percentage of the population victimised by sexual assault Nationmaster data. Read some of our posts Violence against women in New Zealand.

For more about the women’s issues in New Zealand click  here or read some of our following blogs

Parents Furious At Dean’s “Slut” Comment

Womens’ Rights Slipping In New Zealand post for International Women’s Day

“Sex & Power” – Women’s Participation In NZ Stalled

Another Pregnant Woman Told To Leave New Zealand: Pregnancy Now Equated To Sickness In Human Rights Abuse

11 thoughts on “100% Pure You? Anna Faris May Think Otherwise

  1. They have a really strange bloke cult here related to the sports adulation. If you are not into sports, you are automatically branded as “gay”.

    We have known a few foreigners like us who moved to New Zealand with their children, and the (more bookish) children decided upon reaching teen age that they stood so far outside the sports mentality that they must be “gay” because that is what the others told them.

    They value all qualities in reference to how sporting or outdoor-oriented the person is.

    You will note also that anyone who criticises New Zealand on public unmoderated forums such as Facebook, topix, reddit, etc. is immediately often attacked as “gay”. This is a country with some very rigid social gender definitions, regardless of the one lady PM and the one transsexual MP, the loudly trumpeted two exclusions that obviously nullify by their very isolated existence any argument that a phenomenon exists to the contrary of course.

  2. Faris and her comments were on the front page of the paper down here, in the Sunday Herald I think. The point she was trying to make was that these were men in their 40s doing it. You’d expect it from a carload of drunken teenagers, not old or older men. That is what struck her. There’s a deep vein of misogyny here.

    100% Pure You. There is a practice here of responding to what might seem to be critical comments, however valid they might be, by deflecting them back at the speaker. Maybe New Zealand couldn’t live up to the 100% Pure and is blaming the “victim”. “If you don’t like New Zealand, it’s your problem”! Or maybe the previous branding campaign was seen as being “up itself” too much with too big a claim about itself (they got that one right) and they smacked themselves down. 😀

    • A deep vein of misogyny that is lovingly embraced to produce the kind of men that many women in NZ seem to want. While society later pays for those choices through the benefit, support for alcohol-related health complications and families without both parents.

      Going to university here was an eye-opener where the decent men were shunned in favour of the go-nowhere, no-hoper, ne’er-do-wells (with the assault charges, police backgrounds and trespass orders against them, according to an on-campus police officer that I spoke to) who had difficulty stringing together coherent sentences.

      I guess it’s true what they say… when you’re in love, communication barriers disappear, ahahahaha…

  3. Thanks for your thoughts MJ, not even yesterday’s wrappings – this story has been around since at least mid December. It probably resurfaced because Tourism NZ were asked to comment on it.

    Perhaps the real story here isn’t so much Anna Faris’ experience in NZ but the reaction it attracted in NZ at a time when a new advertising campaign was being launched?

    Whilst her experience in Auckland NZ was not overly significant in itself the reaction in NZ to her comments speaks volumes about the way people are discredited for their perceived criticism and of how women are sometimes regarded in New Zealand.

    Whilst “worst may happen everywhere else around the world” it doesn’t present NZ in a good light at a time when the country is being marketed to tourists on the basis that it is THEY who are now 100% Pure, not New Zealand.

    Interesting to see how this one is going to pan-out.

  4. P Ray;;; But then again, they signed up for that job, nobody held a gun to their heads…

    And they charge the max also! We would be more tolerant if it was ‘result based’ payment.

    That way we can measure the success of it, see progress on a level by level without smoke and mirrors and you would have an external ad agency that would ‘give a fat rats…’ and go balls out make sure it works or…pay stops!.

    It’s simply called ‘accountability and transparency”.

    It’s too easy for these guys to lay the B/S down, hit us with HOT marketing jargon’ grab the money and leave.

    I’m not even worried about Anna Faris’s ‘one of’ experience of getting ‘wolf whistles (or whatever) from a bunch of guys full of testosterone! Do you think that will deter visitors from coming here…not a chance! Worse happens everywhere else around the world in some of the most desired tourism destinations…she is already yesterdays fish & chip wrapping.

  5. It is a hard task for Tourism New Zealand to manage though. They have to make sure that criticisms are minimised and positives exaggerated.
    Otherwise they risk the “Streisand effect”.
    Imagine what that does for the character for people in the advertising world, and especially when the product that they sell has serious shortcomings. But then again, they signed up for that job, nobody held a gun to their heads…

    • Perhaps that is why the ads lack a certain sincerity? One commentator compared them to ads for second hand cards.

  6. MJ :

    I would have thought the next added value to a globally working campaign would have been to add what is REALLY unique about us…not the visitor??? The connection would have been to begin letting the world know who we are, our culture, lifestyle, the way we do things, the way we think…in essence…what the difference is about US from the rest of the world! That’s what visitors come here to feel, see, hear and engage with.

    Good point, why travel to NZ just to be ‘YOU’ when YOU can be unique in your own back yard. The uniqueness about the country is missing, for instance, the campaign totally leaves out Maori cultural influences.

    TNZ wasted, at tax payers expense, an opportunity to tell the world what NZ is all about and why its culture is so unique. That its not all mountains and LOTR sets.

    Other messages are going to fill the void now that NZ is no longer 100% Pure.

    Anna Faris’ images of New Zealand are far more powerful because she’s telling us what being YOU meant for HER in NZ. There is no better marketing than Personal Endorsement, and nothing worse than the opposite of the ‘Oprah Effect’

    Furthermore, New Zealanders strongly identified with the 100% pure brand image their country was given, what have they got to identify with now? Tourists on holiday focusing on themselves.

  7. P Ray :

    “Why should the type of women depicted in the ads want to travel to New Zealand and risk subjecting themselves to the unwanted abuse that Anna Faris attracted?”
    Because they read romance novels or think that relationships without drama are boring and unsatisfying.

    Or maybe they just to spend time jetboating with mum. Don’t forget these ads are aimed at children and young people just looking for things to do in New Zealand that don’t involve gawking at the scenery before visiting a tourist shop and having an early night.

  8. “Why should the type of women depicted in the ads want to travel to New Zealand and risk subjecting themselves to the unwanted abuse that Anna Faris attracted?”
    Because they read romance novels or think that relationships without drama are boring and unsatisfying.
    Wait, wrong opinion you say? I was there for 3.5 years at the same university, and watched the same scenario play out time after time – the responsible, respectful and righteous men got discarded for the rabble. Maybe I was only seeing the couples that I wanted to see where the girls were the ones doing the breaking up? Um, no. And sometimes the breakups happened because the girls were discovered in other relationships.
    There was a distinct lack of foresight also, where girls on the one hand said “women are as independent as any man” but in the next breath said “The man must provide for me because I’m his girlfriend”.
    To top things off the girls, after leaving a bad relationship, try to make the next guy “pay relationship compensation for the bad things that happened in her relationship with the previous guy”.
    It’s no wonder the drink problem is as serious as it is. To deal with all the contradictions (and I’ve seen some of those relationships, between Residential Assistants and Students, result in mental breakdowns), requires a whole lot of medication, but since that is too expensive and learning to “treat people properly” requires character, they turn to booze.
    Access to abortion doesn’t help either. And, sorry to say, the social benefit net to catch people that CHOOSE to have children with those who do not care for them… only means the mistake will happen AND CONTINUE TO HAPPEN.
    And did I forget to add that Asian guys fared the worst in the dating stakes? On the other hand, Asian girls never lacked for attention from non-Asian guys that did not “meet the standard” that they set for Asian guys. Whew, I guess it helps that I wasn’t attracted to them… but for interracial relationships, the Asian guys do badly from relational aggression and “Kiwi bloke indoctrination – the lifestyle of partying and shiftlessness”. If you go along with that, you risk losing all your education that your parents (if you are an International Student) has paid for.
    Not to mention the fact that because of the casual sex culture, some women think that sexual contact = a relationship, and think that normal guys are beneath them… or only useful as compensation for their shattered lifestyle of “pursuing sex with unsuitable men”
    The idea of de-facto relationships as well, where you are considered married after cohabiting for a time is also not going to sit well. At semester end in my University, MANY couples broke up.
    I don’t think this kind of problem (unstable relationships, unsuitable partner selection, broken families, addiction and mental problems – whether medicated or not) is getting any better in other English-speaking coutries either, whether in the US, UK or Australia.
    It does mean that the good people are going to become harder to find, and the relationships that currently exist stand a very good chance of being together because they either a)cannot gain anything from a divorce OR b)cannot get a better “valuation” from outside parties.
    Being alone is better than being lonely in a relationship.

  9. HMMM, for TNZ’s next level of added value into a campaign (100% pure) that did so well for 12 years…it’s a big shift (Tui ad right here). the thing that worries me the most is how much it cost us to get research, brainstorming, deliberating, late night meetings, planning, scheming, design costs, trips off shore to see what competitor destinations are doing and finally the (probably 6 figure sum, Kev won’t reveal the cost) ) for the external ad agencies to come up with…..YOU!
    Whoa…that’s a bit of a fizzer, let me see if I can say it another way…’You’ nope, it still looks and sounds the same.
    Trouble is Kevin; it doesn’t really emphasis the culture, colour, vibrancy, character, personality and uniqueness of who WE are???
    Yup we see the beautiful scenery, the rest of the world knows it, but I would have thought the next added value to a globally working campaign would have been to add what is REALLY unique about us…not the visitor??? The connection would have been to begin letting the world know who we are, our culture, lifestyle, the way we do things, the way we think…in essence…what the difference is about US from the rest of the world! That’s what visitors come here to feel, see, hear and engage with. Saying the visitor is 100% pure could create a bit of pressure on them to perform…100% don’t you think? Now, if you are referring to US Kiwi’s as 100% pure…isn’t that like a ‘hospital pass?
    Yup, maybe we did have a few sticky problems with bearing the tag line 100% pure…but surely…YOU on the end is going to fix all that and catapult us into the faces of 880 million global travellers??? Your marketing manager says; let the numbers prove it…well, RWC and its interest will probably bump the international figures up and a number of other small reasons…but ‘YOU’ on the end of 100% pure??? Give me break!
    Honestly Kev, why don’t you just farm the responsibility out to schools throughout NZ to come up with something…you’ll be surprised what the kids can do….and you could have used the money into something really productive…like off shore marketing!

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