Ned Kelly RTD range labelled “offensive”

Ned Kelly RTD range labelled “offensive”

3AW’s Tom Elliott has questioned the use of bushranger Ned Kelly’s image on a range of RTDs.

A listener told the radio host he was checking out the Dan Murphy’s website when he stumbled across the images.

“Which I found quite offensive,” the listener said. “Because they’re profiting out of a chap, as we all know, murdered two police officers.

“It’s got ‘legend’ on the can and other types they have include ‘courage’, ‘mateship’ and ‘optimism’ and I just find it a bit distasteful to have that sort of terminology associated with a cop killer.”

Elliott agreed: “I’ve always struggled a bit with this. I don’t think it’s appropriate to use the image of Ned Kelly to sell whisky and coke, and say that he’s a legend, he wasn’t! He was a convicted criminal.

“It would be like having Tony Mokbel themed bourbon and coke.”

The Ned Kelly themed RTD range was created by Top Shelf International which, according to MMR saw a gap in the Australian ready-to-drink market for a whisky product that was aimed at and created specifically for Australian drinkers. 

MMR notes: “The NED brand is a celebration of Australia’s most enduring legend. His legacy has stood the test of time as a symbol of the Australian spirit – mateship, loyalty, passion, irreverence. It embraces the spirit of the underdog with the courage to take on all comers.”

The company notes that a grassroots marketing strategy is working for the NED range.

“The brand has quickly developed an engaged, loyal customer base and has been successful at continually increasing its distribution network throughout Victoria and interstate,” MRR said. “With the support of a considered social media and marketing program, it has become an established brand in a highly competitive market dominated by global billion-dollar businesses. Feedback has been overwhelming positive that NED is the drink for all Australians.” 

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