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“Cuddle a koala (before we make them extinct)”: Times Square billboard targets Australia's climate policies

A crowdfunding campaign by an Australian comedian has run satirical ads on the largest digital billboard in Times Square to slam Australia’s climate change policies in the lead-up to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Koala TimesSq campaign
Perhaps graphically amateurish, the climate crisis message is nonetheless strong in Times Sq. NYC
dan ilic comedian
        Comedian Dan Ilic

Australian comedian and podcaster Dan Ilic launched the ambitious $1 million campaign - called 'JokeKeeper: Shaming Australia’s climate inaction' - on crowdfunding website Indiegogo with the aim of buying billboard space in Glasgow to coincide with Cop26.

After exceeding his initial targets and raising more than $190,000 so far (Monday 18 Oct), Ilic bought 10 minutes on the biggest digital billboard in Times Square - a 20-metre-high screen known as Godzilla. The campaign will also buy billboard ads in marginal seats ahead of the next federal election.

Ilic says the Australian ads will aim at “ridiculing our fossil fuel supporting political parties - just in time for a crucial election."

The Times Square campaign has generated global media attention, with Ilic telling US cable news giant CNN in an interview: "We have to lead our leaders because our leaders don’t work for us, they work for the fossil fuel companies."

climate ad times sq you tube

     (image: YouTube)

 Eight separate digital ads – with artwork by Brisbane-based artist James Hillier/Nordacious - played on a loop for 10 minutes above crowded Times Square at a cost of $A20,000 ($US12,500), with slogans such as: "Australia: net zero emissions by 2300"; “Cuddle a koala (before we make them extinct) – Limited Time Offer!"; and “Dear World … yeah, look … sorry about our government bullsh**ing about our emissions targets – Australia."

Heady stuff that naiively ignores the fact that the biggest Carbon polluter on the planet is PR China at 28% of all global greenhouse emmissions! That's more than the USA and EU combined.