Sheep, Sex, Rugby Don't Mix: New Zealanders
Run-up to Rugby World Cup has some marketing people trying too hard
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2011 11:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – What do bikini-clad models herding sheep and no-sex campaigns have to do with rugby? Not a lot, but those are two of the wacky promotional ideas that have New Zealanders in a huff in the run-up to next month's 2011 Rugby World Cup, reports the AP. Organizers had wanted to run 1,000 sheep through Auckland, shepherded by scantily clad models, but an outcry by animal rights groups and generally mortified New Zealanders sunk that idea.

Not-very-well-received idea No. 2: a promotional campaign by Telecom jokingly urging the country to remain sexless to show support for the All Blacks rugby team. Its ad features a former team captain congratulating fellow Kiwis for "selflessly stepping out into the bed chambers of this fine country, throwing aside your natural instincts, and your lacy lingerie, standing proudly in your flannelette pajamas and whispering 'I love you, New Zealand." A Telecom rep says the campaign was designed to be funny and get people talking.