Fairfax mystery remains unsolved, as passionate archer launches trade ad tirade

StopPress was quite partial to Fairfax Media’s recent ‘Find Out More‘ campaign, so we found it quite surprising when a reliable little birdie told us that Fairfax and Assignment Group wouldn’t be working together anymore. Perhaps Fairfax has developed a case of the Orcons, we quipped, laughing at our hilarious marketing in-joke. As per usual, Assignment Group wasn’t talking (Josh &Jamie won the account and took it with them when they were bought out) and, when we asked Fairfax digital platform and channel development general manager Nigel Tutt about the situation, things got a little confusing.

“We don’t have a new agency,” he said.

So, do you still have your old agency?

“We’ve finished our previous project with [Assignment Group] around Auckland. We haven’t really got any other news.”

So, is the account up for pitch?

“We haven’t got anything that people will pitch on.”

Tutt added that he was “very happy” with the recent campaign. So, overall, nothing to see here, move along, sorry for wasting your time.

Speaking of Fairfax and time-wasting, complaints to the ASA make for great, quite comical and occasionally scary reading. The ability to point out marketing shysters serves a valuable function, of course, but a large chunk of the complaints are ridiculously nit-picky and seem to come primarily from serial fun-haters. It’s hard to believe there are actually people out there who get so annoyed with advertising they will spend their spare time complaining about it. But when we received an email from someone going by the name of ‘Blackhole Marketing’ that ripped into one of the executions from Fairfax’s pretty well-received ‘Arm Yourself’ trade campaign because of its inaccurate portrayal of an archeress, we had to chortle.

We’re not sure what’s funnier, the gaffes pointed out in the impassioned critique below, or the fact that someone cares this much about archery and seems to have absolutely no concept of artistic licence. Make up your own mind.

“No Need to Fear the Bow of Fairfax”

What is she aiming at? An animal or a competition target? We can’t tell, because her bow and arrow are mis-matched. This doesn‘t matter, however, because the inept right arm and childishly inept hold on the string, together with the absence of essential stabilisers, ensure her failure.

Let us count the ways:


Loose hair in front of the body can get caught in the string on release. No archeress would do this. Unless she wanted a fast hair-removal treatment, and to miss the target.

It is customary to close one eye when aiming. The left, in this case. But both blue eyes are open.

The forearm guard is to prevent string rash on the arm holding the bow. She is wearing it on the wrong arm.


The right elbow should be slightly higher than the line of the arrow. Her elbow is lower.

An archer who is serious about accuracy would use a special ‘release tool’, or at least an archer’s glove, in favour of the naked hand. In addition, this grip is not the delicate two-fingered hold required, but a foolish, ham-fisted grab.

Mismatch. The bow is built for competition—either field or target archery. The arrow is for hunting, as it has a hunting tip. No, we don’t shoot a hunting tip into anything but soft flesh. But if she was hunting, she would use a proper hunting bow. She is confused.

This kind of bow requires between one and five stabilisers to shoot accurately. It is designed to need stabilisers. They aren’t optional. But she can’t be bothered. The bow has no stabilisers. Too bad for the client.


The bow is fully drawn, because the arrow is positioned at the sight, but the line of the string, if you follow it with your eye, implies the tip of the limb (end of the bow) is absurdly far away. Maybe if it was an old-fashioned longbow…..

About Author

Comments are closed.