This ‘Gruen’ Ad Brilliantly Shows The Consequences Of Companies Not Paying Their Fair Share Of Tax


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Corporate tax avoidance has become a bit of a political bugaboo this year. A Senate report leaked in August called for multinational tax dodgers to be named and shamed by the ATO, partly off the back of revelations in April that huge multinationals like Apple, Google and Microsoft routinely employ complex tax avoidance schemes to avoid paying their fair share of tax on profits made in Australia.

Not that all this has led to much in the way of policy gumption. In the same month of the Senate report’s leaking the government introduced exemptions that would gift 800 Australian-owned companies the right to keep their tax affairs secret. Their justification for doing so was that companies making their tax info public might expose their owners to risk of kidnapping, presumably by that infamous ring of Australian billionaire kidnappers that definitely exists.

In light of all this, Wednesday night’s Gruen pitted a couple of ad agencies against each other to come up with an ad that might nudge large companies into paying the Treasury what they owe. One of the agencies, Banjo Advertising, came up with an evocative look at the consequences of companies not paying tax that’s begun to go viral, garnering more than 150,000 views in less than a day online.

The runner-up effort, while not as stirring, is also worth your time, if only because it evokes images of rich people on yachts being incarcerated.