Asia

Australia 'fake tradie' election ad mocked

Man dressed as tradesman speaks in still from an advertisement Image copyright Liberal Party of Australia
Image caption A still from a widely ridiculed ad featuring a tradesman criticising the policies of Australia's opposition Labor Party

An army of amateur internet critics has turned on the latest Australian election campaign ad from Australia's conservative Coalition government.

In the ad, a man dressed in tradesman's clothing criticises the opposition Labor Party for its stance on banks, enterprise and tax concessions.

The man's delivery was lampooned as unconvincing and the hashtag #faketradie trended on social media.

But a Liberal Party spokesman insisted a genuine tradesman was used in the ad.

"We are very pleased that people are talking about this ad which highlights the risks of [Labor leader] Bill Shorten's war on business. The tradie is real," a statement said.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption One of many tweets ridiculing the Coalition government's latest election ad

The ad received a relentless battering on Twitter for its heavy-handed use of Australian slang and its plea for voters to "stick with the current mob for a while".

Some wags pointed out the odd placement of the man's saw equipment on a road outside of the construction site. Others noted that the man in the ad appeared to be wearing an expensive watch.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten jumped on the #faketradie bandwagon, saying: "The problem with the Liberal ad is exactly the same problem with [Prime Minister Malcolm] Turnbull - Australians can spot a fake when they see one".

The Australian Council of Trade Unions claimed that the man in the ad was an actor named Andrew MacRae.

But Mr MacRae told the Daily Mail he had nothing to do with the ad. Although he has not yet been named, it appears the #faketradie is in fact a #realtradie.

The marathon election campaign entered its seventh week on Monday, with the Labor opposition attacking the government over what it says are plans to privatise the public health system, Medicare.

The government dismissed the claims as a scare campaign and guaranteed that no part of Medicare would be privatised.

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