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Media Release


"Chopper" Read to Feature in Drink-Drive Campaign

Thursday 15 March 2001
Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read is to feature in an anti drink-driving advertising campaign for the Pedestrian Council of Australia (PCA).

Harold Scruby, Chairman of the Pedestrian Council of Australia, believes that while Mr Read's involvement in the campaign may spark controversy, it will undoubtedly help in drawing attention to the devastation, pain, grief and suffering caused by drink driving.

"Approximately 350 Australians die each and every year as a result of drink driving. If we had lost a tenth of this number in Timor, there would have been a national outcry. The campaign promises to wake many Australians from their apathy and ignorance and make them realise the extent of this problem," said Mr Scruby.

"The decision to use "Chopper" Read for the campaign was based on the urgent need to communicate both the magnitude of the drink-driving problem in Australia and the gravity of the consequences of this destructive habit," he added.

Developed by Saatchi & Saatchi, the campaign features two 45-second television commercials that both feature Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read.

The first advertisement features Chopper Read speaking directly to camera. During the course of his 45-second monologue, he admits he used to be a hit man and that most people 'hate his guts'. 'But you drink and drive and you're going down the road and kill a little kid … You still hate me? Yeah, you still hate me ... but you're no different than I am … you're a murdering maggot just the same as I am …"

In the second commercial, "Chopper" is seated at his kitchen table. He points to different areas on his body where he has been injured in prison. "When I was in prison…I got slashed in the face…my ears cut off…etc., etc.. If you drink and drive and you're unfortunate enough to hit somebody, you ought to pray to God that you don't go to prison..."

"The second commercial complements the current and excellent Victorian TAC campaign which features black and white bridge banners throughout Victoria with the words: `DRINK. DRIVE. KILL. JAIL.' Mr Scruby added.

"This hard-hitting `A Killer is a Killer' campaign would not have been possible if it weren't for the involvement of Mark `Chopper' Read, Saatchi & Saatchi and Silver Screen Productions. All parties have provided their time and services pro-bono (for no fee) as part of their commitment to reducing the road toll," added Harold Scruby, Chairman, Pedestrian Council of Australia.

Whilst placement of these commercials is currently being finalised, Channels Seven, Nine, Ten, SBS and Foxtel have all indicated that they will be using the ads.

Further Information:
Harold Scruby, Chairman, Pedestrian Council of Australia, (02) 9968-4555 or (0418) 110-011
David Ansell, CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney, (02) 9230-0222
Alex Merton-McCann, Merton-McCann Communications (0418) 279-069