The end of scepticism

Tui billboard proxy

Read about the Heartland Institute’s brief experiment with provocative marketing.

UPDATE Thursday 10 May

At five to nine this morning I received an email from Nick Downes, who works for Federation Media (“We specialise in doing the web right”) whose web site displays some spectacular work for some spectacular clients.

After taking some advice, I removed the Tui billboard facsimile above. Here’s Federation Media’s polite request:

Subject: Request to remove Copyright Infringement
From: Nick Downes <>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 08:54:19 +1200

Dear Richard,

I write in assumption that you, Richard Threadgold, are the administrator or owner of the site,

I represent a digital agency working on behalf of Tui Beer. At the request of DB Breweries legal representatives, we're required to ask you to remove the 'Yeah Right' image you currently have posted on this page.

While leniency is given to consumers who create these images, it unfortunately pertains to Copyright Infringement and we're required to take immediate action if a Company or Brand use any variation of the Year Right messaging (including branding / logos).

As such, can you please immediately remove this image from your page and any other location where this is publicly displayed? Please respond and confirm the requested action has been taken by 5pm Friday, 11th May 2012. Further infringements may result in legal action. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me directly and thank you in advance for your prompt action.

Kind Regards,

Nicholas Downes

Nicholas Downes | Key Account Manager |
Address: 23 Pollen Street | Ponsonby | Auckland 1021
Private Bag: P223 | Private Bag 92175 | Auckland 1142
Twitter: @federationmedia
Phone: +64 (0) 9 951 5003  | Fax: +64 (0) 9 360 0373

So I complied, but as I deleted the image I couldn’t help but shed a small tear for the brave yet now forsaken history of the Tui brand, with its determined, heart-warming struggle for so long against the big boys of brewing. A struggle that in the end crushed their proud hearts and won the Tui brand for the big boys. – *sniff*

Visits: 370

37 Thoughts on “The end of scepticism

  1. Mike Jowsey on 08/05/2012 at 10:14 pm said:

    Brilliant! Where can I get me one of those?

    Heartland’s contention that This billboard was deliberately provocative, an attempt to turn the tables on the climate alarmists by using their own tactics but with the opposite message. We found it interesting that the ad seemed to evoke reactions more passionate than when leading alarmists compare climate realists to Nazis or declare they are imposing on our children a mass death sentence. We leave it to others to determine why that is so.

    … is supported in this article which says, It appears now that Climate Progress/Think Progress has been embarrassed enough by the attention brought to their article as a parallel example, to deep six it.

  2. Richard Christie on 09/05/2012 at 2:54 pm said:

    CC message to DB Breweries marketing 9 May 2013


    I’m insure as to your company’s attitude to copyright issues but it appears local cranks are encouraging that your Tui advertising brand be associated with their campaign to deny climate science, see:

    I believe that DB has nothing to gain being associated with fringe conspiracy theory groups that deny the consensus position of NASA and every scientific institution on the planet.

    Currently businesses world wide are distancing themselves from association with (see ) and included links to guardian etc.

    NZ’s climate conversation group has close links to and has received funding from the Heartland organisation.

    If these parody’s of your adverts start commonly appearing you now know from where they originated.

    • Thanks for sharing your misinformation and untruths, Mr Christie. You’re as welcome as anyone else to rebut the climate facts presented here, but just whining to the teacher paints yourself in a very bad light.

      The CCG has no ties to the Heartland Institute and has never received funding from any organisation, you lying toad. Good-humoured imitations of Tui’s billboard have been appearing for years, because it’s such a great idea. I “started” nothing.

      Why do you believe in dangerous man-made global warming, Richard? In several years of asking, nobody will give me any evidence for it, so what persuaded you?

      The plural of parody is parodies and the year is 2012, not 2013.

      Richard Treadgold.

    • Mike Jowsey on 09/05/2012 at 5:59 pm said:

      Sprayed tea over keyboard. Laugh! Thanks Krusty.

  3. Bob D on 09/05/2012 at 3:28 pm said:

    Richard Christie:

    NZ’s climate conversation group has close links to and has received funding from the Heartland organisation.

    I love how these blokes just make stuff up, and then get all breathless about it.

    Reminds me of the catastrophic global warming we’re not seeing.

  4. Richard Christie on 09/05/2012 at 6:59 pm said:

    It appears that I have you lot confused on the funding issue with your fellow nutcases at NZ Climate Science Coalition.
    All peas in a pod look the same but I’ll nevertheless withdraw the claim and apologise, but not for the heads up to Dominion Breweries in regard to your use of their intellectual property.

  5. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on 09/05/2012 at 9:10 pm said:

    That’s not the only thing you’re confused about Richard.

  6. rob taylor on 10/05/2012 at 8:30 am said:

    I UNDERSTAND the evidence for global warming, but I don’t BELIEVE in homeopathy, astrology, global conspiracies of scientists, etc, etc.

    Get the difference?

    “There are none so blind as those who will not permit themselves to see”

  7. Bob D on 10/05/2012 at 1:52 pm said:

    Pity, I used to like Tui beer.

    I presume, Richard Christie, in your new-found role as DB toadie, that you’ll also be wanting to take these criminals down as well:

  8. That takes the cake, Bob!

    Looking through the results of Googling “Tui billboards” shows that Christie has his work cut out for him, but also makes me wonder why they decided to take a hard line on my solitary transgression in the midst of those unchallenged multitudes who have done exactly the same thing but got away with it.

    I’ll talk to my lawyer again to discover why I shouldn’t claim the same rights enjoyed by those ignored ones.

    • Bob D on 10/05/2012 at 2:12 pm said:

      Richard T:

      …makes me wonder why they decided to take a hard line on my solitary transgression in the midst of those unchallenged multitudes…

      Possibly because the multitudes don’t have snivelling sycophants reporting their every move.

      But never mind, it gave us a laugh, and an insight into how some people think. And it exposed Richard Christie as someone who confuses easily.

    • Richard Christie on 10/05/2012 at 8:19 pm said:

      Yep, I can hear your laughter from here.

    • Hilarious. What persuades you of the existence of dangerous anthropogenic global warming?

    • Anthropogenic Global Cooling on 11/05/2012 at 7:56 am said:

      Well I think it’s funny. Your actions reek of desperation, & your ill humour is a reflection of your frustration as the public and the scientific community desert the S.S. Climate Change on her final plummet to the ocean floor.

      Tui breweries? Who cares. I’m sure Richard Treadgold isn’t crying into his weeties over it.

      Anthropogenic climate change? Down she goes, glug, glug. I wonder if there’s enough life boats for the crew who keep insisting the ship’s still seaworthy. I guess we’ll find out pretty soon when Kyoto expires. Maybe this picture might cheer you up a bit Richard:,skeletons.html

    • Richard Christie on 11/05/2012 at 7:56 pm said:

      What persuades you of the existence of dangerous anthropogenic global warming?

      I don’t think I’ve ever used the phase “dangerous global warming” in my entire lifetime.
      Leaving your strawman aside…

      and just about every other scientific institution involved in climate research and in the physical and earth sciences on the planet Earth.

    • Richard Christie,

      Leaving your strawman aside

      No, please don’t do that; it was no strawman argument. Each word is carefully intended. For if the warming is not dangerous prevention is unnecessary; if it’s not caused by humanity prevention is impossible; if it’s not global a global response is unnecessary; and if it’s not even warming then we might need to grow firewood instead.

      I don’t think I’ve ever used the phase “dangerous global warming” in my entire lifetime.

      I actually mentioned “dangerous anthropogenic global warming”. Never mind if you haven’t used the term — I did! Does it exist, do you think?

      You throw the entire AR4 at me. But I asked specifically “what persuades you”? Can you answer that? I might as well signal, since you might easily guess, that I have problems accepting some of the key points in the AR4. Surprise!

      As an example, the first sentence in the SPM says: “Eleven of the last twelve years (1995-2006) rank among the twelve warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature (since 1850).” Yet one of those years was the largest El Nino ever recorded (making a record year unsurprising) and the other record years varied from each other by mere hundredths or even thousandths of a Celsius degree. It’s difficult to be impressed by such a record, when the accuracy of the data is only about ±2°C, much less concerned. And of course there’s the important question of causation.

      Does dangerous man-made global warming exist?

      Speak freely, if you can do so without further alienating us with pointless insults. “which chorister” is you — in a Monty Python movie? Spare us.

    • Andy on 13/05/2012 at 7:52 am said:

      Congratulations are in order for Richard Christie, who has received a personal letter of thanks from DB, and a tee shirt which he declined.

    • Andy,

      Do you have evidence of those assertions? I’ve asked but nobody will tell me. Please remember that evidence of thanks is not evidence of the cause of those thanks.

  9. Andy on 10/05/2012 at 9:22 pm said:

    Maybe Kaczinski will take Heartland to court over them using his image.
    Actually I can’t find anything about his views on climate change on his Wikipedia page, so maybe Heartland have misrepresented him.

    Rum game, this

    • Huub Bakker on 11/05/2012 at 7:24 pm said:

      Apparently it’s mentioned in his manifesto.

      Interesting to see the pure bile from Richard Christie though. I mean why does he hate us with such passionate fury? Maybe it’s an Internet thing. I’m sure he couldn’t continue to feel that way if we sat down to a cup of tea somewhere. I mean it’s not as though I have the blood of innocents on my hands and thirty pieces of silver in my pocket.

    • Richard Christie on 11/05/2012 at 8:14 pm said:

      Which chorister in this video clip is you Huub?
      You guys seem blind to the fact that this is the way most of the scientific world views you:

    • Thanks, Richard, most amusing.

      If you think our current world is “sinking” then tell us why you think so. Please.

    • Huub Bakker on 12/05/2012 at 12:03 am said:

      Richard Christie,

      You clearly have not studied the science or you would be able to do more than simply tell us what “most of the scientific world” thinks of us. What they think is of no concern.

      Why can I say this? Because I have spent many hundreds of hours in the last two years reading scientific papers and articles, some peer-reviewed (for what that’s worth). I have tried to understand the science and take no one at their word. I have followed arguments and data from many different sources and checked up on them in many cases. I have the qualifications and training to spot arrant stupidity or outright lies more often than not and I can tell when people are obfuscating and when they can explain, simply and clearly, a concept.

      I have studied material on numerous websites from both sides of the debate and come to rational conclusions from there.

      Like many I believed that what I was told was true and, like most, did not take the time to check up. When I decided to start looking for answers I found poor science, politics, vested interests, lies and deceit. You must look at all the evidence, take no one’s word for anything and judge the science for yourself. Follow the money. Not the “big oil spends millions on climate change denial” (As if we deny climate change!), but look up the actual figures.

      When you have done that you will be able to make an informed opinion. But don’t take my word for it. 🙂

  10. Billy on 11/05/2012 at 9:25 pm said:

    I have looooooved tui,but no more,I promise I will never,ever,drink this brand again.

    • I’m so tempted to reply “Yeah right” but, though it might be nicely apposite, I fear it could also be disheartening. So instead let me say what a treasure you are, sir or madam! May your light shine long on the earth!

      I have this evening sent an email requesting further information from DB’s digital custodians. I’ll report back on results.

  11. Mike Jowsey on 12/05/2012 at 9:31 pm said:

    Ah well, in the scheme of things it is of little consequence. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    They are having a few laughs over at WUWT creating a few HI billboard replacements.

  12. Alexander K on 13/05/2012 at 6:04 pm said:

    It’s very sad when the big brewers remove an icon from our shelves by humourless and legalistic behaviour. Reminds me of a tiny project in Levin some years ago, in which a local had high school students paint murals in the style of W Disney on a small concrete-block loo in a park – it only took a few days for the weight of the comic empire to very nastily force a re-paint.
    Right now, it must be the Perigee moon making CAGW believers and doom-sayers active. On an allied topic, I now live in West Auckland, which has a reasonably high proportion of Polynesians in the community. I haven’t met any that have been forced to flee from their various homelands due to being swamped by rising seas, as promoted by Al Gore.
    I am still waiting for a cheque from Big Oil or Big Coal, too.

  13. The yeast used to make a certain NZ brewed beer didn’t produce any nasty CO2 – yeah right.
    Beer is better without the CO2 bubbles – yeah right.
    Environmentalists would happily drink beer with no bubbles – yeah right.

  14. Alexander K on 15/05/2012 at 8:58 am said:

    Mr Christie, you should be aware that science has nothing to do with majority beliefs. I am still waiting for someone who believes that a consensus is somehow important in science to point out the actual evidence for the CAGW meme. I know very well that the earth warms and the earth cools and there appears to be a causal linkage with our own hot star and it’s behaviour, but the influence of a tiny portion of essential plant food in our atmosphere is utterly unproven. But still, if issuing mad polemics and spiteful advisories to a brewery makes you feel better, I suppose that could reduce the burden on our national mental health system. I do like to look for positives!

  15. KoolKlimeKat on 25/05/2012 at 6:01 pm said:

    A recent article claims the overall effect of increasing CO2 is one of cooling, not warming.
    They used some very simple calculations to arrive at some very cool results. For a chemist,
    these calculations are straight out of Physical Chemistry. Their results seem light years more accurate than the model programs. They claimed if you replace Earth’s entire atmosphere with CO2, it would be much colder. CO2 a cooling gas. Interesting.

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