When the brains behind the Minerals Council launched an advertising campaign to defeat Labor's mining tax, they nailed it. The tax was gutted, and the PM who dared propose it -- Kevin Rudd -- lost his job. Miners spent $22 million
on the ads and saved billions in tax they never had to pay.
Now the Minerals Council has a new multimillion-dollar ad campaign, this one to defend the coal industry. But "Australians for Coal
" doesn't seem destined for the success of the anti-Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT) campaign. This campaign seems to be a dud.
Launched on Monday because coal is "under attack from powerful groups determined to shut the industry", the PR campaign includes a slick pro-coal website and TV ads
(they'll come later). Its dedicated Twitter handle
turned into a social media farce within hours, and its campaign to get the public to email conservationists seems to have failed.
So what's the campaign aimed at? The federal Coalition government is already on coal's side -- there's little risk of an RSPT-style tax there. Rather, it seems to be aimed at pressuring state governments
(and courts) to approve coal developments, and encouraging investment funds and super funds to stick with coal despite conservationists' complaints.
With the Minerals Council's PR strategy under a cloud, Crikey
has fact-checked Australians for Coal. The campaign says it will "help start to set the record straight". Does it?