This recent ad from iiNet has been taken off the air after it was found to have breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice. I've seen this ad a couple of times now and I can't believe I never spotted this message. Don't worry if you can't read it — you'll find the full text after the break.
Wow. Impressive. You not only spotted this in our TV ad, you found a way to read it. That can't have been easy. This whole page only lasted two frames. That's less than one tenth of a second. Well done, sir or madam. We're going to reward your awesome pausing powers with a little gift. Type this link into your browser: iinet.net.au/2framefreebie. And yes, you can tell your friends. But let's keep it to a minimum of a hundred, OK? And hey, watch for more two-frame freebies in our next TV campaign.
The link leads to this page. The limit of 100 entries appears to have already been met, however, you can still enter your details for a chance to win one of five iPads.
As for the message itself, there's nothing there to compel you to buy iiNet products or murder your neighbours, but it was enough to warrant a take-down by Free TV Australia. The Code of Practice states that information conveyed in a manner that is "below or near the threshold of normal awareness" is unacceptable.
ZDNet Australia got in touch with iiNet who, unsurprisingly, weren't out to brainwash viewers.
"We did it because we wanted to do things differently to how others are doing it," said iiNet's general manager of retail Matt Dunstan. "We did it because we believe in having fun and because we want to have real engagement with our customers, rather than just preaching to them via traditional, one-way advertising."
What's your take? Misunderstood marketing genius or the top of a slippery slope?