Sour Susie: When negative attack ads backfire

There is a a truism about negative attack ads…they must be truthful. Kevin Rudd and Labour have had a massive push back over their “Sour Susie” ads:

It turns out that “Sour Susie” is an actress and not a real concerned mum, and that her lifestyle is afar different from that portrayed in the advert.

THE actress mother hired to bag Tony Abbott in a negative Labor TV ad campaign actually lives with her parents, enjoying their gourmet food and wines, while whingeing about the price of Spanish handmade tiles. 

Susannah Hardy is being paid by Labor to pretend she fears cutbacks from an Abbott government while, in real life, undertaking expensive renovations to her dream Sydney home, complete with a “stylish stainless steel dishwasher that only makes 42 decibels of noise”…

Her agent said yesterday Hardy, who also writes articles about kitchens and bathrooms for glossy home magazines, lives in Paddington, in Sydney’s leafy east.

Her posts on her blog reveal a woman who loves to live with style – rather than fretting about the number of nurses and teachers employed by governments like the hard-working mother she portrays in the attack ad. The 44-year-old boasted on her blog last weekend that her lawyer husband and their two daughters, aged 5 and 2, had been living with her parents for the past 10 weeks while undertaking renovations.

The Daily Telegraph made a parody video of it:

You should never misrepresent details in negative ads. The push back when caught is far worse than any gain you made from running the negative ad in the first place.


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  • conwaycaptain

    Another left wing LUVVIE do as I say not as I do. In the likes of Xena Eco Warrior Princess and the bird from out west wot flies to Europe business class to see her lover.

  • Anonymous

    What is wrong with Labour parties? They seem incapable of not using imaginary made-up people to push their issues. Surely amongst all their union or taxpayer-funded lackeys they can find one person with enough motivation to leave their office to find a genuine real-life person? They must have some actual real-life supporters somewhere.

    • rockape

      If their leader can’t do joined up talking how do younexpect the members to communicate!

  • cows4me

    Another Clayton’s lefty. If I was a struggling lefty voter I would be laughing my tits off. Sure looks like she’s on the bones of her arse, why do they even bother.

  • John Q Public

    I’ve never understood why you’d vote Labour when you live in a suburb that costs $1M plus to buy in.

  • peterwn

    Like NZ Labour ads of the 1960’s – portraying grim faced ‘Coronation Street’ like families, whereas National ads showed people surfing and having a great time.

  • Patrick

    I watched the debate last night on the www, must say Abbott spoke very well. My impression up until then was he was a bit of a clutz. The worm ratings were also interesting, the female “likes” did not drop away when Abbott spoke as I thought they would. Perhaps the voters do not see him as a misogynist as Gillard tried to paint him.

  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    And now to paraphrase the only words for which Dr Cullen will be remembered:-
    “Just another Labor rich bitch.”

  • Cadwallader

    ..and the bread in the bag is giving the entire constituency a one-fingered salute!

    • Patrick

      That is actually Rudd’s member for Queensland