News

Labor's new 'Australians first' campaign is the whitest thing we've seen

Labor leader Bill Shorten has acknowledged it.

By Jessica Chandra
Labor Australians first campaign

The Australian Labor Party revealed their new “Australians First” ad campaign during Channel Nine’s 6 p.m. news program last night, and let’s just say… it probably didn’t have the effect it was supposed to have.

The campaign starts at the 1:37 mark here:

The ad is set to air in marginal electorates — it aired in Queensland over the weekend, reports The Australian — and according to the Channel Nine news bulletin it’s all about “mixing patriotism with protectionism.”

In the ad, Labor leader Bill Shorten promises his party will “build Australian first, buy Australian first, and employ Australians first” when it comes to jobs. Then there’s a short of Shorten standing with a group of trades people and professionals, who for the most part are… very white.

This was picked up by many observant news watchers, who took the Labor party to task on Twitter for basically insinuating that “Australians first” means “white people first.”

Bill Shorten acknowledged what was wrong with the ad this morning, telling reporters in Canberra, “I am not in the business of making ads. We have too many rorts in the visa system.”

“I had a look at the final product and I think we need more diversity, and I will speak to the Labor party about that.”

He also called the campaign’s casting “a bad oversight” on Twitter, adding, “that won’t happen again.”

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese also described the ad as a “shocker” and said it was “not the sort of ad that I want my party to be promoting. I think anyone who sees it will know exactly what’s wrong with it.”