HPA wowsers at it again

The Taxpayers’ Union have released documents yesterday showing the wowsers over at the Health Promotions Agency have spent up $1.2 million on their batshit crazy No Beersies campaign.

“The Taxpayers’ Union had feedback that the ‘Not Beersies’ ads were making people thirsty for beer. Some participants in the Agency’s own focus groups said the same – that the ads encouraged drinking or were confusing.”

And encouraging kids to have a few handles too by the looks of this picture.


“The documents show that the campaign had the least positive impact on entrenched, high-risk drinkers, and instead targets those least likely to face harm from alcohol consumption. The HPA spent at least $1.2 million on the campaign, but has refused to say how much taxpayers paid in advertising agency fees. It also shows that the HPA conducts no cost benefit analysis on its campaign.

Not targeting high risk drinkers.

Spent up more than $1.2 million.

No cost-benefit analysis.

Troughing at its worst.

So what’s it all about?

“The HPA have spent over $1.2 million of taxpayers’ money in order to promote a ‘culture change’. They acknowledge that the campaign probably won’t reduce alcohol consumption and won’t affect the most at-risk of alcohol harm. No wonder no one bothered to do a cost benefit analysis.”

A “culture change”?

Troughing wowsers wasting our money on social engineering.

John Key should take a scalpel to these pricks who use our money for their la-la campaigns and think they’re doing God’s work.


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  • dgrogan

    Always thought that ad was puerile. Much like a lot of childish crap coming out of ad agencies these days. How brain dead do they think their MSM audience is?
    No wait….oh never mind.

    • mommadog

      I’ve seen the add a few times and basically ignored it as irrelevant as I will drink water or soda water if out and not wanting alcohol or I will have a real beer or glass of wine. I thought it was a product add, a new drink out in the same vein as other low/no alcohol beers and didn’t realise that it was from the health promotions agency and we were all paying for it. if I take such little notice then probably others don’t and the add doesn’t work. Perhaps I am a bit brain dead when it comes to adds as I switch my brain off when they are on.

      • Damon Mudgway

        That’s why Harvey Norman and Big Save furniture have ads that ‘SHOUT’ at you momma, ’cause you’re just not listening.

        • johcar

          Just one of the reasons I don’t shop at either of those establishments…

        • ex-JAFA

          My pet hate is that almost every ad fronted/voiced by a woman has to include a… pause… or two… as if the stupid bint had opened her mouth before thinking what she was going to say. Apparently it’s so we think they’re being thoughtful, but my brain works at a speed where I can think ahead of my mouth. I do not purchase from people who don’t know what they want to talk about.

      • mike

        I don’t even talk to my 20 month old like that. It’s dog or puppy, not doggie. Its rabbit, not bunny. It’s juice or water not drinkie.

        • mommadog

          Good for you Mike. The ga-ga baby talk drives me nuts personally but I try not to be judgmental since I don’t have children myself. I would be interested to know if children develop better language skills if they are given the proper words from the beginning like you do with your 20 month old.

  • Monty

    It has been my view that beer drinkers are not the issue. Aren’t RTDs and spirits the issue with those who binge drink? I am a very moderate drinker, but this summer I have probably drunk more beer than in the previous few years. ( that is a twelve pack over the past week). I blame this “no beersie” campaign.

  • Iera

    The associated idea of watered beer was doomed to utter failure

  • Cadwallader

    Idiots like this ought simply bugger-off and leave us to our own preferences. That would save $$$$ time and what little energy these guys invest in their meddling.

  • Damon Mudgway

    The ads are whimsical, but little more than screen filler. I think they could have left it at the two bearded boys in the bar though. Carrying on with the campaign will make not one bit of difference. What has made a difference is lowering the limit for drink driving. The days of a having a few on a Friday after work has been nipped in the bud if you have to drive home afterwards.

    Unless of course you’re a drunk who doesn’t care about the consequences, in which case social education is probably a waste of time. Like the anti smacking legislation. Funny that.

  • Old Man, Torbay.

    This brings to mind the Clayton’s ad.
    “The drink you have when not having a drink”.
    A product that failed, though the maker’s name did enter the colloquial dictionary to describe something useless.

  • sandalwood789

    Crazy stuff.

    The government has its priorities completely screwed up. They spend money on useless stuff like this but they do absolutely nothing about defending the country against a certain hate-mongering ideology.

  • CheesyEarWax

    “Culture change”? Maybe they should have hired some jihadi fighters to promote the religion of peace instead, would have cost much less.

  • Jas

    Was never going to work. And the only one that might wouldn;t be allowed anyway as not being PC.

  • John Q Public

    All it has succeeded in doing is creating a new colloquial term for beer, which I suspect will endure long after the ads (“ads” not “adds” people ) are forgotten.

    • Wallace Westland

      So…another Claytons add huh?
      “The advertisement you have when you’re not having an add”

  • roxo

    Funnily enough after not drinking beer for about 5 years, sticking to mainly cider or wine, that ad actually made me start drinking beer again! It gave me a thirst and I actually felt like a beer again, either that or the nice warm evenings sitting outside. And that is just watching the ad with no sound – the imagery actually made me feel like a beer. Nice one!

  • jcpry

    My first thought was how the heck did they make clear beer! And it did make one thirsty.
    The original add was good however. My daughter who was a bar manager at the time said it was very effective – all she had to say to someone was “no more beersies for you” and it seemed to work given the humorous and light-hearted approach. .

  • Tom

    Those kids obviously have alcohol issues. Probably on benefits.

  • LesleyNZ

    This is terrible! Why would anyone want kids to mimic beer drinkers in a beer mug? The ‘Not Beersies’ ads are promoting the culture of beer drinking without the beer. How stupid. Wait till the kids are of age – they will be so used to drinking out of a ‘Not Beersies’ mug that they will be filling their ‘Not Beersies’ mug with the real thing and drinking the beer like it was fruit juice. Definitely a waste of money John Key. Use the scalpel ASAP. The beer drinking culture needs to change – not the beer.

    • Mick Ie

      Beer mugs? I know! It always tastes so much better straight out of the bottle!!!

      • Grumpy of Onehunga

        I know I shouldn’t rise to the bait, but beer will NEVER taste better out of the bottle as you miss the volatiles (similar to the bouquet of wine) and the proper effects of the hop oils which congregate in the head. By the way, I have been a professional brewer for 50+ years so I do speak with some authority on the subject.

        • Mikex

          Dead right Grumpy, with only five flavours detected in the mouth in comparison with the noses ability to detect many, many thousands, a lot of flavour is being missed drinking out of a bottle.
          In fact when drinking beer from a bottle I suspect if you swapped the beer with fizzy weasel piss many would be hard put to notice the difference.

      • Chris EM

        Nah, best out of a glass which has been chilling in the fridge.

  • Lord Evans

    They haven’t learnt a damn thing in 40 years!

    • mommadog

      Coming to a restaurant or bar near you – a water bottle being sold at an expensive price with a “Not Beersies” label on it.

  • Whitey

    I occasionally see one of these ads on a billboard on my way home from work. Never fails to put me in the mood for a few cold ones.

    The HPA is a disgrace and should be disestablished. There’s something very wrong with a society that uses taxpayer money to create employment opportunities for professional wowsers.

  • Laidback chap

    Would have thought for $1.2 Million there should be one person in the Agency who knew how to use photoshop properly. Check out the kids hands

    • Chris EM

      Clearly a file photo, too. They just don’t look like New Zealanders.

  • pidge

    Oh, that’s what those ads were about. I was utterly confused about what the point was.

  • metalnwood

    It’s all the wrong way to about about it IMO. I was never a heavy drinker but there were times where I would drink every night so I was tipsy. A campaign like this would never make me think I should abstain or stop.

    The only reason I stopped is because I found more productive uses of my time. I think you have to get people to find something they would rather do than sit around drinking all the time. There are lots more fun things to do with your time, you just have to get the people motivated to spend their time on something else, not just decide to put down the mug.

  • jcpry

    As an aside does anyone know where I can purchase one of those fine looking beer mugs? I sort of like the irony.

  • Chris EM

    Must admit I pay little attention to ads, but until know I thought Beersies was a new brand of beer.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Today is Friday. Can’t wait until I finish work and get home to do some serious power drinking

  • MAWG

    DB could have killed it with one billboard……


    • dgrogan

      Simply brilliant.

    • luke

      Outstanding effort MAWG. But TUI would be too concerned about offending the HPA by ridiculing the health message.

  • luke

    Having worked with most of the bigger ad agencies in Auckland, I can tell you the creatives live in a twilight world, where all that matters is winning awards for their work. The client is culpable too because they lack the balls to say: “Sorry this is self indulgent rubbish, do something that persuades the cynics”. Instead they sit wide eyed in the agency boardroom and applaud this kind of nonsense. By the way, the fact the ad is shot as a beer ad is what makes it ineffective. Beer ads have subconscious visual triggers that make you crave a drink. The Beersies ad used them all.

  • viking

    Photo shop eh. Well here’s a lesson. There is a saying that puts a man penis at 2.5 times the length of his thumb (I don’t know if its correct if you are wondering) so check out the boys thumb and the man’s thumb.
    On the basis of that saying the boy is well engineered and his old man needs some help.

    Gees some of these money wasters are dumb.