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Billboard battle begins

News release

June 14, 2005

Billboard battle begins

It may be three weeks before the Lions rugby team and supporters touch down in Auckland, but the City of Sails is already gearing up for the propaganda battle.

Mysterious and provocative billboards have appeared in the city over the weekend and the messages are as clear as the black and white they’re printed in.

The unbranded signs – in Ponsonby Road, Hobson Street and Customs Street East – have been erected by Auckland’s Heart of the City (HOT City) promotion group in conjunction with Tourism Auckland.

The headline theme of the billboards is ‘Here Kitty Kitty’ with the tail of the “y” of the third word resembling a Lion’s tail.

The caption messages are unmistakeable: ‘Lucky you’ve got nine lives’, ‘You’ll need your litter box’ and ‘You’re just big pussies’.

HOT City marketing manager Liz Smith says the aim is to encourage Aucklanders to get behind the campaign to support the All Blacks.

“It’s all in good fun,” Liz says. “The Lions fans and the tour party will be here for the penultimate and final games of the 2005 tour – against Auckland and the All Blacks – and we want them to know Auckland is no Lion’s den.”

HOT City is also asking CBD businesses to ‘black-out’, distributing black balloons and black window wrap supplied by the NZRU. There is a prize for the best black window – a hospitality table for 10 at Eden Park for any NPC game.

By which time the Lions will have retreated to their homelands with their tails between their legs, Liz hopes.

ends

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