I did a number two in the Prime Minister’s private airport loo.
It was very unglamorous and I have bigger claims to fame, but given Scott Morrison just got ejected, this seems like as good a time as any to share.
Scott Morrison’s private airport bathroom. Where the PM has a BM.
I was at the Sydney Airport directing a TV ad for Virgin Airlines. The only place where we could position a plane and put a film crew around it was in the Prime Minister’s private parking spot. So they moved his plane (possibly to Hawaii) and put ours in its place.
Nearby is a small, unremarkable brown building where the sitting Prime Minister can go to “freshen up” after a flight, before addressing any waiting press. Inside is a meeting room, a makeup station with a well-lit mirror, and a tiny bathroom.
I snuck inside between takes to do my business because there was nowhere else to go except on the plane we were filming in. And I did not want to be responsible for stinking up the set.
But stinking up the PM’s airport outhouse didn’t bother me at all.
This was not the only time my advertising career has crossed paths with Prime Ministers.
My first Boss in Australia was Neil Lawrence at TBWA who came up with the punchy, if not obvious, “Kevin 07” campaign slogan.
Not long after Kevin Rudd was elected, I wrote and directed an ad encouraging him to not let his name become a dirty word by embracing coal at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
And then a few years later Scott Morrison walked into Parliament with a lump of coal in his hand and told everyone “don’t be afraid, don’t be scared, it won’t hurt you. It’s coal.”
The first time I became aware of “Scotty from Marketing” he was proudly taking credit for the worst tourism advertising in Australia’s history.
If you don’t remember it, the campaign was built around the slogan “So where the bloody hell are you?” Which for anyone outside of Australia and the UK might have seemed like an invitation to a horror theme park.
“Bloody” may be an acceptable alternative to “heck” or “hell” down under, but to the rest of the world, it’s more descriptive than expletive.
No surprise the campaign failed. And anyone in marketing with half a brain should have been able to predict that.
So now there’s a new government in Australia.
Scott Morrison got wiped out. A teal wave of independents and climate-conscious Greens helped put Tony Albanese in power as the 31st PM of Australia.
I like to think that in some small way I helped with this Gruen Greens ad I directed (and co-wrote it with my friend Ben) years ago. It won awards and still gets talked about today.
After all, climate change was arguably the key issue in this election. With all the fires and floods in recent years, this should have been obvious to ScoMo.
It wasn’t. So he had to go.
Australia finally had enough of his shit.
Now that he’s no longer PM, that private airport toilet will be closed to Scotty.
But I’m pretty sure the Engadine Maccas will be open.