Ben’s PR blunders are the gift that keeps on giving

News that Best job in the world winner Ben Southall is to get four helpers has prompted a string of comments about whether he should have won the competition in the first place.  

Southall has already come in for criticism for a perceived lack of activity on his blog, although his defenders point to a heavy schedule organised by Tourism Queensland as the reason for his relative silence.

But even when he does manage to stir himself into action, he gets it wrong, mistakenly Tweeting “Hayward Island” as opposed to “Hayman Island” when reporting on the gastronomic delights on offer if you’re lucky enough to get a free feed.

Prior to that, he attracted flak in UK tabloid The Sun after apparently complaining about missing English roast dinners and long summer evenings.

Some people have said this all shows Tourism Queensland picked the wrong man and now regrets its decision, but Thumbrella begs to differ.

The more negative publicity Southall drums up for being a lazy, whingeing Pom, the more column inches he attracts for a campaign already estimated at generating more than A$80 million in free publicity.

4 thoughts on “Ben’s PR blunders are the gift that keeps on giving

  • August 17, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I think you are right – the ongoing publicity is brilliant for Queensland, regardless of Ben’s work. At the end of the day he will drift back into obscurity and everyone will remember the emotive images on Queensland.

    I was at a Backpacking Queensland meeting this week and everyone seems to share the same opinion that the problem with Ben is that he is not really selling Queensland very emotively – he kind of larks any real spark to his videos and blogs. Maybe adding a further four will create this.

    Hopefully girls in bikinis – cos everyone will want to read their blogs and watch their videos as they sail and beach it round Queensland

  • August 27, 2009 at 9:02 am

    This is a bit of a non-story that reminds me of the so-called blunders he’s made.

    Sure he said he missed English summers, but in response to a question from an english journo about what he missed from home.

    Sure he hasn’t blogged that much, but he’s still supposedly blogged more than the quota expected from him.

    And yeah he got the island name wrong. That was pretty stupid, but one word in a month or so which was quickly corrected is hardly the end of the world (especially with the publicity it brought).

    Seems to me like people just love an excuse to knock a fella who’s landed a pretty sweet job.

  • September 3, 2009 at 11:58 am

    they might want to wait until they see if numbers to Queensland are up before working out if the whole project has been a success!!

    Whilst numbers to their website were through the roof – how many of the overseas people who knew about the promotion will ever actually arrive in Australia let alone Queensland!!

  • October 21, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Any criticism of Ben Southall on his caretaker appointment and his subsequent remarks should be taken with a pinch of salt. As an ex pom living the life in The Whitsundays , I too agree with him that I miss English summertime, if only for daylight saving. That problem could be solved by the morons in The Queensland Government. As for spelling Hayman incorrectly, one wonders if anyone noticed the error in The Tourism Whitsundays Award Category List where indigenous was also spelt incorrectly. A simple error that is no big deal in the scheme of things.Everyone should realise that Ben is just an ordinary guy living a lifestyle at the moment that people only dream about. If Ben wants a roast dinner he can pop round to our place at Shute Harbour anytime,it’s common fare in this neck of the woods and most pubs do a roast, but Ben is being fed five star style, ie large plate,nothing on it.
    Keep up the good work Ben, and Congratulations on Tourism Queensland and Tourism Whitsundays for showcasing our magnificent Whitsundays with The Island Reef Job, an enterprise,that has proved invaluable in marketing The Great Barrier Reef and The Whitsundays throughout the world.
    Alf Welch.
    Queensland Armchair Guide.


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