Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Scott Morrison announces raft of measures to keep Australian borders protected

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced during his Lowy Institute address that a new Australian Border Force agency will be created

PT2M17S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3816s 620 349

Its aim is to unify Customs and Immigration into one agency to save money and provide better protection of Australia's borders.

But Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's new ''super agency'’, the Australian Border Force, has already been called a ''marketing disaster'' - drawing criticism and ridicule.

Australian National University marketing expert Andrew Hughes said the choice of the ''hairy-chested'' title Australian Border Force sounded like a parody or a cartoon series.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the creation of a new border protection agency.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the creation of a new border protection agency. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

''If I was going to create a cartoon series I would probably call it Australia’s Border Protection Force,'' he said.

''The catchphrase would be, 'The ABF - We’re here to help', and the characters would have their own matching capes and masks.''

Mr Hughes said the first thing he thought of when he heard the announcement was Saatchi & Saatchi’s award winning 2009 satire of border protection in a Toyota ad that used the catchphrase ''Country Australia Border Security: Nothing soft gets in''.

 

Mr Hughes said he understood the government was trying to display an image of strength and trust but said ''it’s just not necessary and the public won’t buy it – we’re smarter than that''.

''Scott Morrison speaks of the force being one you’d be proud to work for – and from a marketing perspective it probably would be if you were an aspirational superhero.''

Mr Hughes said the super agency's title was a ''marketing disaster''.

Political commentator Paddy Gourley was also scathing in his assessment of the choice of name for the agency.

''This organisation’s disgraceful designation is one that plays to all of our worst instincts,'' he said.

Comedian Dan Ilic said the government seemed unaware of the comic value of using names like this or Operation Sovereign Borders.

''This is essentially Australia's own Police Academy,'' he said. ''Many countries have a force like this ... I learned about it in that documentary Team America.''

''I mean, why don’t we just blow the boats to smithereens with an F35 jet while we're at it?'' he asked.

Mr Hughes said if you look at the names of border protection agencies across the world, very few have titles that are designed to be deliberately threatening.

''Agency would have been a better word use as opposed to force,'' he said.

''The name of the force sounds similar to a paramilitary unit that works in some dodgy part of the world. It makes it sound as if we’re about to be invaded.''

Mr Ilic said there might be some surprises still to come apart from Mr Morrison’s choice of operational titles.

''This proves that Morrison is not a wimp, he's a bully ... The only difference is,  when he threatens to bash you, you can't cry, 'Yeah?  You and who's army?', because now he's got one,'' he said.