Kylie Minogue Donates $500k, 'Pauses' Tourism Ad Amid Bushfire Crisis
Kylie Minogue's much-vaunted Tourism Australia ad has been taken off air in the wake of the devastating bushfires sweeping the country, with the pop princess donating $500,000 to the cause.
Minogue joined a growing list of Australian and international A-listers who have opened their hearts and wallets amidst the bushfire crisis, announcing on Monday she would tip in half a million dollars to the situation she described as "heartbreaking".
"As a family, we’ve donated $500,000 towards the immediate firefighting efforts and the ongoing support which will be required," she said on Instagram.
"Big or small, from near or far, any support will help those affected by the devastating bushfires."
It comes as her much-discussed Tourism Australia ad -- in which the pop icon quite literally sings the praises of Australia while urging Brits to visit their 'mates' down under for a holiday -- was temporarily pulled.
After airing for only 10 days, the ad has been "paused" from broadcast in the wake of the bushfire crisis.
“In light of the current situation in Australia, we have reduced some of our campaign activity in the UK. We will continue to review our planned activity over the coming weeks and months,” a spokesperson from Tourism Australia told Mumbrella in a statement.
The ad campaign, titled 'Matesong', first aired on British television on Christmas Day, immediately preceding the Queen's speech.
Critics used social media to slam the campaign for poor timing, coming as it did during Australia's ongoing bushfire emergency, with one arguing that broadcasting the ad was like saying "Come visit Australia: get an early preview of Armageddon.”
Before the commercial was paused, Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham argued that in light of the fires, tourism marketing would assist the country to get back on its feet.
"The fires will pass. Communities need to rebuild, and people who see this ad today will be making bookings to travel in six months' time, nine months' time, 12 months' time," Birmingham said in defence of the campaign.
The three-minute advert features a number of familiar Aussie faces besides Minogue, including comedian Adam Hills and sporting legends Shane Warne, Ash Barty and Ian Thorpe.
The 'Matesong' makes a number of tongue-in-cheek swipes at the UK's current political situation, and recommends Australia as the perfect place to escape the Brexit debate.
“Negotiating tricky trade deals is a shocker/ But look there’s a quokka! / And that’s what you need,” sings Minogue.
Tourism Australia has not yet announced when it will 'unpause' the commercial, stating its number one priority for the moment is the safety of communities and tourists.
“As the Australian Government agency responsible for attracting tourists to our country, Tourism Australia will have an important role to play in highlighting that Australia will continue to be a world-leading and safe tourism destination, whether in unaffected regions or those that will recover from these bushfires in the months and years to come,” the statement continued.
Featured Image: Tourism Australia