No Sex for New Zealanders, Florida travel jump, What was Depardieu thinking?
Couple short things for today that caught my attention between painting my fences in the backyard...
First, why is the guy from New Zealand Telecom apologizing for a clever campaign surrounding the coming Rugby World Cup? In an item I spotted on TravelMole, it seems that Telecom Corp had planned to launch an ad campaign next week that featured such slogans as "abstain for the game," a fake plea to garner support for the All-Blacks during next month's tourney, which will go on for several weeks.
The New Zealand Herald did a poll and found eight per cent of folks supported the idea, which is higher than I would've thought. Apparently it was an on-line poll as 92 per cent of folks hit a button that said, "No, are you kidding?"
New Zealand Prime MInister John Key called it a waste of money and Telecom chief Alan Gourdie admitted that the company had misread the public mood (missed it by that much, you might say). He announced the campaign was cancelled and apologized for any offence it caused.
A marketing person in New Zealand told the NZ Herald the campaign was "a bloody embarrassment. The rest of the world will take the piss out of us. This will be much better sport than the rugby. It's inexplicable."
Offence? My God, people, get a life. I would've expected the Kiwis to handle things, so to speak, with a bit more humour. Agence France Presse reported that fans of the South African Springboks team posted an item on the Internet to say they were "just happy for the sheep."
AND I THOUGHT OVERHEAD BIN HOGS WERE BAD...
We often complain about people engaging in poor behaviour on an airplane; lowering their seats at supersonic speed, hogging overhead bins, jumping up and dialing their cellphones when the plane has barely hit the tarmac. Yeah, you know who you are.
But now comes something a lot worse. A lot worse. It seems actor Gerard Depardieu has admitted to sitting on a CityJet flight from Paris and, wait for it, peeing into a bottle.
The flight is said to have not reached the runway as it prepared for takeoff, and Depardieu apparently couldn't wait. Not to gross anyone out, but it seems his aim wasn't quite true and some liquid spilled onto the carpeting of the plane.
He had the good sense to apologize and no charges were pressed. I don't know, maybe the Screen Actors Guild has introduced mandatory drug testing and he had to provide a quick sample?
The incident caused a series of jokes. One headline said the French actor had a "oui problem," while a strangely giggling Anderson Cooper said he thought Depardieu liked to fly "Incontinental" airlines. (Incidentally, what on earth is wrong with Cooper in that tv bit? Yikes; the guy just loses it).
CityJet put out an item on Twitter (you can find them @cityjet) and talked about how they were busy mopping the floor after the incident.
It's all quite sad for Depardieu, who will never live it down. But you really do wonder what would've happened if you or I had done something like this. An accepted apology and a seat on the next plane to Dublin? I don't think so.
FLORIDA TOURISM JUMP
The Palm Beach Post reports that Florida tourism increased 7 percent this spring over last year; a bit of good news in a gloomy economic period. A report released Wednesday by Visit Florida found an estimated 21.2 million travelers visited the Sunshine State during the second quarter of 2011, including 2.2 million tourists from overseas – a 17 percent increase in that category. Canadian visits increased by 18 percent.
"Obviously we're very pleased with these numbers," said Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Visit Florida. "I think we are seeing pent up demand and people wanting to do the things they used to do before the economic problems."
ON A VERY SERIOUS NOTE
Very scary stuff in Thailand, where six people died in the lovely resort town of Chiang Mai earlier this year. The BBC is reporting that the Thai government says an investigation has "suggested a link to toxic chemical exposure."
A five-month investigation by Thai authorities with the help of the World Health Organization (WHO) followed but a report on Thailand's Department of Disease Control on Tuesday said the exact toxic agents could not be identified, the BBC report said.
"But an investigative report by a New Zealand TV station reportedly found traces of a toxic insecticide - chlorpyrifos - used to kill bedbugs in the room where (a) New Zealand tourist had stayed."
What's truly frightening is that this could happen to any of us, almost anywhere. I mean, avoiding suspect-looking street food is one thing, but who on earth suggests toxic chemicals in a hotel room?