SHOP LOCALLY: Residents from Biggenden to Monto are being encouraged to shop in their own towns and not travel to nearby centres. Photo Erica Murree / Central & North Burnett Times
SHOP LOCALLY: Residents from Biggenden to Monto are being encouraged to shop in their own towns and not travel to nearby centres. Photo Erica Murree / Central & North Burnett Times Erica Murree

Negative shopping campaign signs cause controversy

THE Shop in North Burnett advertising campaign has sparked controversy for its signs directing shoppers away from neighbouring towns.

But North Burnett Regional Council chief executive officer Mark Pitt said the signs had "done their job", with about 37,000 competition entries received by last Friday.

"It is a historic fact that people from our region shop in the coastal centres. The buy local campaign has been targeted to... bring a little business back in the opposite direction," he said.

"(The signs) generated a large degree of publicity and are in the process of being replaced."

With an average spend of $31.25 a person expected to generate about $1,156,250 in regional expenditure, Mr Pitt said the campaign's impact was "very positive".

Gayndah councillor Joanne Dowling shared the "great initiative" with other towns on Facebook, but one page administrator refused to share it after negative feedback on the signs.

"They also asked me to remove my previous posts from other Childers sites," she said.

Biggenden Chamber of Commerce member Sue Telford described the campaign's concept as "brilliant, but lacked a little finesse", while president Jim Cunliffe suggested the controversial signs on Biggenden highway exits had "the wrong use" for "don't". 

Rather than "Don't shop in (town), you can't win (a car)", he suggested "Why shop in (town), you can't win (a car)".

But Gayndah Mitre 10 manager John Zahl wasn't concerned by the negative advertising.

"The shire here is like every other business, we're all under threat," Mr Zahl said.

"They've come to the realisation as small businesses die and we all travel to Bundaberg, Maryborough and Kingaroy that it cuts the council's revenue base."


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