The Simply the Best campaign caused more trouble than excitement.
The Simply the Best campaign caused more trouble than excitement.

NRL cuts new Simply the Best campaign

The NRL is to scrap its multimillion-dollar Tina Turner commercial that caused a storm of controversy when it was first launched.

Acting chief executive Andrew Abdo said the decision was not related to Latrell Mitchell's behaviour last weekend when he broke COVID-19 protocols by hosting a camping group on his farm at Taree.

Latrell had starred in the ad with an Aboriginal flag draped over his back at Botany Bay.

The campaign, celebrating the 30-year anniversary of Turner's Simply The Best league anthem, was slammed by critics for being too politically correct.

"We now have a completely different set of circumstances," Abdo told The Sunday Telegraph.

"The Tina Turner commercial was designed to stir up emotions and get fans to the venues. Whatever we do next will be more focused to get people to watch the games on TV."

Abdo said the NRL will be discussing new promotional opportunities with broadcast partners Channel 9 and Fox Sports for the May 28 relaunch.

Millions of dollars have already been slashed from the NRL's marketing budget for the remainder of the year as part of cost-cutting at head ­office and across the game.


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"We will obviously be saving costs and working closely with the broadcasters," Abdo said.

"The aim will be to get people watching on television, but that might change later in the year if fans are ­allowed back into our venues."

Fox Sports will continue to run its own campaign, which featured Jimmy Barnes belting out Simply The Best on the site of the now-demolished Allianz Stadium.

Originally published as NRL cuts new Simply the Best campaign