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Opera House - two bob each-way on the bridge next?

Well, if it's good enough for the Opera House...why not the dear old 'coathanger?' But Charmaine Moldrich, CEO of the Outdoor Media Association, says the Opera House is not a billboard.

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This example is a lovely welcome to all the cruise ships docking at Circular Quay but imagine the possibilities: "While in Sydney, have a flutter on the TAB" or "Pokies - we got heaps of  'em at the Rooty Hill RSL.” But, OMA's Charmaine Moldrich takes a more serious look.

Born in controversy 45 years ago, the famous white sails of our Opera House have again found themselves at the centre of heated debate, as politicians, radio presenters and those charged with protecting our cultural heritage weigh in on the promotion of the nation’s most expensive horse race, writes Charmaine Moldrich, CEO of the Outdoor Media Association in The Sydney Morning Herald.

“With social media feeds dominated by the discussion, and more than 230,000 people signing a petition over the weekend to stop the projection onto the sails, the line in the sand has been drawn. On one side, those who believe the Opera House sails are the best way to promote iconic events; on the other, those who believe the sails should stand unadulterated in their elegance as the very symbol of our harbour city.

“As chief executive of the Outdoor Media Association,  the peak body representing the companies that display outdoor advertisements, including billboards, and own the signs, you might expect me to endorse advertising on the Opera House.

“But we need to tell our story, not sell it to the highest bidder. It takes years to build a brand, but it can be damaged in the blink of an eye. A cultural icon like the Sydney Opera House is a building of international significance and a recipient of World Heritage status. It is a building worthy of respect and one that is entitled to retain its artistic integrity.

“Louise Herron, the chief executive of the Opera House is right, the Opera House is not a billboard. High visibility and impact are available throughout our city using existing outdoor advertising, and dare I say for a lesser price than our integrity. What is clear is that they both play a role in building a brand – the Sydney Opera House tells the story, billboards sell a story, and in this case, they are mutually exclusive.”

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