Tuesday 6th October, 2015 Australia/Sydney

Australian Conservative

Green brand “dying slowly” as economic reality bites, marketing strategist says

David Chalke and Andrew Bolt on Channel Ten’s
The Bolt Report.

The “green brand” has been dying slowly since 2007-08 and the “celebrity environmentalism” of Al Gore and Tim Flannery, Melbourne marketing strategist David Chalke said on Sunday.

“It’s going down, down, down. People are now looking back and saying, ‘This is costing me too much’,” Chalke told Channel Ten’s The Bolt Report.

He said power bills and the cost of living have started to hit home and those economic realities were affecting the green brand.

“We’re now going to be confronted with the cost of the carbon tax. And people are saying, ‘Ooh, I’m not so sure’. And, at the same time, they’re losing faith. And the costs are going up. That’s a recipe for a brand that’s going to fall apart.”

David Chalke told ABC radio yesterday that attitudes towards the environment were changing.

He said Australians today were less inclined to support costly environmental measures.

Support for the environment peaked at the end of the 90s, he said, and then “got a little kick up again during 2007-2008 when we had Al Gore and the ‘greatest moral challenge of our time’. Since then, it’s gone back on to a very steep downward trajectory and the number of supporters are nearly now matched by the number of sceptics.

“What seems to have happened is the people’s attention has now focused on more day-to-day issues like the economy, like housing affordability … whilst, at the same time, some of the more catastrophic claims that were put forward during that period of 2007-2008, they haven’t come to pass. The drought’s finished. It’s raining now. The whole global warming or climate change message is much harder to get across under those circumstances.

“We’re now in the position where people have adopted—particularly scared on by the GFC—a new prudence; they’re actively saving as much as they can. They’re cutting back expenditure wherever they can.

“So if you talk to them about energy efficiency and keeping the house running costs down, yes, they’d be very interested in that. If you talk to them about saving the planet, you’re really down to a hard core of passionates who would do it, and the majority of the rest of Australians wouldn’t,” David Chalke told 774 ABC Melbourne’s morning show.

The ABC sought Chalke’s views in the light of media reports that Victoria’s Baillieu Government was considering dropping 6-star thermal efficiency rules for new homes in favour of a voluntary code.

However, Premier Ted Baillieu has been reported to have abandoned the proposal in the face of “growing controversy”.

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