Bucket tipped on Raise a Glass

[Note: related material is in this post. Some of the material below could just have easily gone in the other post or in both but we decided just to keep one updated after about 18 April. HH]

Someone, possibly in our ABC, has revived this ferociously funny piece on VB’s Raise a Glass campaign, an Anzac-related beer promotion with niggardly charity spin-offs. It deserves to be spread widely. (It stars veteran Australian actor Simon Chilvers.)

Community anger has shot down (sorry!) Woolworth’s crass fresh Anzac promotion. Could Raise a Glass be the next casualty? See Jo Hawkins in The Age. ABC 7.30 including link to segment. Jonathan Green on The Drum. Mark Skulley in New Daily. Sean Kelly in The Monthly. Historians are Past Caring. Emily Robertson on how government seeks to protect the Anzac brand. World Socialist Web Site notes Minister has approved about 300 corporate promotions involving Anzac brand.

Camp Gallipoli objects to criticism. Jill Stark surveys the scene, interviewing James Brown, Jo Hawkins and Joan Beaumont. Ben Eltham had made the sensible point earlier that commercial opportunism was perhaps less of an issue than military adventurism. The Age editorialised and Kate Aubusson (Lest We Forget What?) analysed, interviewing Joan Beaumont. Tess Lawrence‘s biting satire in Independent Australia.

Booze is at the heart of Anzackery, the jingoistic celebration of our military history – with lucrative commercial spin-offs. In an earlier post we said this about Anzac and booze:

James Brown in his book Anzac’s Long Shadow (chapter 6) juxtaposed Cosgrove’s Raise a Glass involvement in 2012 with the Hamilton Report from the year before, which concluded that ‘there was a high prevalence of drinking at hazardous levels [in the Australian Defence Force driven by] the use of alcohol in rituals and celebrations’, as well as the use of alcohol in response to the ‘pressures, stress, trauma and grief associated with Defence activities’. The Hamilton panel concluded that it is very aware of the significant value associated with the promotion of any product associated with the ADF; especially in context of iconic national symbolic events, people, days or operations such as “Anzac” associations, and strongly urges extreme care with allowing this to be used by a voracious/rapacious industry that is extremely experienced in positioning alcohol products with high-status Australian icons in promoting their products.

Brown went on:

The high-profile military figures, war widows and charities supporting the Raise a Glass campaign did so for honourable reasons, including the rare opportunity to raise so much money for veterans. But at what cost? The campaign is a clear and concerning attempt to tie a commercial brand to Anzac Day.

No-one seems to be listening. There is an Anzac advertisement for Victoria Bitter to show during National Rugby League games and, no doubt, an Australian Football League one coming. A week ago, Carlton and United Breweries launched its ‘emotive television commercial’ for this year’s Raise a Glass effort. The commercial was filmed at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne with a cast of 338 men representing the dead of the 16th Battalion at Gallipoli.

CUB this year is giving $1 million from Raise a Glass to the RSL and Legacy. CUB’s owner, SAB Miller, the world’s second largest brewer, had revenues of $US 22 billion in the year ended March 2014.

This earlier post also talked about booze and sport and concluded thus:

The booze industry-sport-Anzackery. Join the dots. There are other dots, too, such as teenage binge drinking, domestic violence, misogyny and obesity. What are the connections? Perhaps some of the public and private money going to the centenary of Anzac might be diverted to an effort to find out.

15 April 2015 and updated



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