Amid the braised shin and spiced short ribs on Masterchef on Monday night was a long, very glossy, advertisement for the Crown group, which owns casinos in Melbourne, Perth, London and Macau.

I want one!

But it wasn’t an ad to attract customers. Among the things it spruiked was that the group employed more than 14,000 people and ran its own hospitality school. It argued that the gaming meccas housed the most awarded, high quality, hotels and restaurants in the country. And it left the distinct impression that any city graced with a Crown megalopolis was pretty lucky economically.

If it had been set out doors and the main actor was wearing a hi-vis vest and a helmet instead of a double-breasted jacket and doorman’s top hat it could have been a mining industry ad.

You know those ones that make you feel warm and fuzzy about how (insert mining giant here) employs athletic-looking young zoologists to protect the wildlife, or telegenic doctors to serve remote communities.

They’re clever because they serve to reposition the whole industry. And just ask Kevin Rudd what it’s like to take on a mining industry ad campaign.

Crown spokesman Gary O’Neill explained to The Punch that the four-week campaign’s function was primarily recruitment.

Like any hospitality employer, Crown is battling relatively low unemployment, a generation of young people with lofty ambitions, and competition from other sectors in its effort to find and retain good staff.

The ad was designed to sell Crown as an employer where you can find a career path.

But O’Neill acknowledged there might be a side benefit. You see the ad does such a good job of selling the upsides of Crown venues, as a Sydneysider I almost wanted one.

All those great restaurants! It’s so stylish, and fun, and glamorous!

That’s quite a handy message considering Crown’s current attempts to muscle its way into NSW. So far James Packer has won the support of the premier Barry O’Farrell, but his battle for Sydney digs is far from a done deal.

One man who has seen how a well-oiled private sector campaign can swing political events is former “faceless man” Mark Arbib, who was instrumental in knifing Rudd after the mining industry went ballistic.

He now works for James Packer, with the job of helping wrestle control of Echo Entertainment Group.

Those recruitment ads sure are giving Crown some bang for its buck.

Most commented


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    • year of the dragon says:

      06:40am | 25/07/12

      “Those recruitment ads sure are giving Crown some bang for its buck.”

      Isn’t that what anyone who commissions an ad expects?

      I’m not sure if it’s because it’s still early, but the point of this article is entirely lost on me.

      Is it anti-gambling?

      Is it anti-advertising?

      Is it pointing out Arbib’s hypocrisy in working for a gambling company?

      Is it suggesting that the miners claims that they make philanthropic and other contributions outside mining are false?

    • Year of the female dog says:

      07:25am | 25/07/12

      Have a coffee and re-read it then.

    • TimB says:

      08:09am | 25/07/12

      Looks like Badger isn’t exactly clear on the point either.

    • year of the dragon says:

      07:46am | 25/07/12

      Year of the female dog says: 07:25am | 25/07/12

      “Have a coffee and re-read it then.”

      “Those recruitment ads sure are giving Crown some bang for its buck.”

      That it was money well spent?

    • Libby Mitchell says:

      07:48am | 25/07/12

      Stop being so oblique ‘dragon’...You mentioned ‘philanthropic and other contributions’ advertorial in itself. The article pointed out how spin is so often cleverly sent, disguised as ‘touchy-feely’ inclusion on another apparently unrelated topic. Looking at Crowns ability to destruct families AND other businesses via pokies [its core business in terms of profits] I found the article to be very focusing…in pointing out just how BS can be spread! Dangerously.

      BTW…if Crown is having recruiting problems…maybe it is because of 3 factors?

      Crown employees do not get paid enough, when they are in a high pressure job that is asking too much of them as people? Crown earns huge profits so its employees deserve MUCH more pay than other hospitality workers get.

      Also Crown employees might be sensing that places like Crown will not be ‘growth industries’ in future…as citizens repel pokies more and more…and lastly…

      Armed with the knowledge that casino workers are the most likely group of employees to become gambling addicted…who in their right mind would work there? We have already read of casino workers who commit suicide over gambling problems. Casino workers also are more exposed to prostitution and gambling addiction leads to that one as well. The list of risks is significant…and now Crown asks its casino staff to find and expel gambling-addicted patrons as well as drunks and loud-mouths? What a FINE career THAT is!

      Those messages more than outweigh your paltry suggestions of ‘philanthropy etc…that are smoke screens for the fact that Crown Casino is a disreputable, unworthy hospitality employer….a view that is growing based upon awareness….despite any TV involvement in food shows etc.

    • EWB says:

      09:34am | 25/07/12

      @Libby Mitchell
      I love how recruitment advertising is now referred to as “spin”.  What are they supposed to show in their ads? Someone polishing glasses during the midnight shift on a Tuesday? Its not exactly the enticement they are looking for.

      Lets take a closer look at your “3 factors” (although I don’t think its appropriate to use the word “fact” in any of your post).
      I’ve worked in a casino before and I can only assume the “high pressure” roles you are referring to are in either the kitchens or the bars.  Guess what - kitchens are high pressure environments EVERYWHERE, as are most bars on a Saturday night. So why should Casino’s be singled out.  To be honest, I made more in tips when I worked at the casino than I did in any other bar.

      I hate the pokies, but sadly, they are here to stay.  And as long as there a high school formals, work conventions and 18th birthdays, there will be Casino’s.

      “Armed with the knowledge that casino workers are the most likely group of employees to become gambling addicted”... Ummm, what? I love how you just throw that line out as if its some kind of undeniable axiom.  Most Casino’s have rules that ban employees from gambling there.  And I don’t think there is a significantly higher rate of suicide amongst Casino workers to any other group working in a similar field.  And whats that about prostitution?  Why is that even mentioned?  I think you may have cranked the moralistic outrage levels a little too high this morning

      Casino employees are the most likely to see both sides of the gambling coin so the speak.  For every person person who has a big win on Saturday night, there are an untold number of sad old pensioners who come in at 9am every, single day to mindlessly feed a pokie monster.  Most people who don’t work there don’t see that.

    • year of the dragon says:

      06:03pm | 25/07/12

      EWB says: 09:34am | 25/07/12

      Thanks EWB. I missed Libby’s post but you have responded from a much more informed perspective than I ever could have.

    • Mahhrat says:

      08:00am | 25/07/12

      Because, of course, what we need is more casinos.

      Well, James does. I guess public servants will just have to figure out how to clean up the mess they make.

    • iansand says:

      09:19am | 25/07/12

      Advertising something other than the product?  Scandalous.

      Ever seen a Coke ad advertising its taste?

    • Troy Flynn says:

      11:05am | 25/07/12

      No, but I remember Pepsi ads which did. Remember the old taste tests that started showing up in malls. I don’t think it lasted that long as many people were still choosing Coke over the Pepsi as their preferred taste. Of course, they only aired those people who chose Pepsi. Maybe that’s why the ad campaign didn’t last.

    • iansand says:

      02:26pm | 25/07/12

      Which is my point.  Coke as the market leader advertises a lifestyle that will “...go better with Coke”.

    • EWB says:

      09:51am | 25/07/12

      I have to admit, the article is a little convoluted.

      Whether you agree with the industries or not, what cannot be denied is that mining and casino’s employ a lot of people. Thats a good thing.  I think most of those ads are trying to promote the fact that there are jobs available other than those stereotypically associated with casinos (bar work) and mining (truck driver) hence your ads with “athletic-looking young zoologists to protect the wildlife, or telegenic doctors to serve remote communities”.

      I also wonder if Tory would take equal issue with a local club or RSL advertising its community involvement, which is fully or partly funded by pokie revenue?

    • AdamC says:

      09:52am | 25/07/12

      I missed the ad, but am certainly pro-Crown in Melbourne. It is a wonderful destination and is especially good for tourism. Of course, the Australian wowser instinct and Melbourne’s Victorianism (as in the era, not the state) militate against the city making the most out of the asset.

    • Anjuli says:

      11:21am | 25/07/12

      Remember the movie of Kevin Kostner “Field of Dreams” I think that could apply to other things too.The moral was build it and they will come, people seem so short sighted in Australia.

    • SAm says:

      12:27pm | 25/07/12

      Wanna fund my $3.8B Tree Museum in far western NSW? It’ll bring people in!


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