Tennis Australia Defends Center Court Ads At Australian Open Amid Backlash By Media, Fans
Tennis Australia "has defended loud advertising on centre court of the Australian Open," saying it is a "commercial reality" in line with other tournaments around the world including the U.S. and French Opens, according to Nick Leys of THE AUSTRALIAN. The adverts, described as "tacky" and "overbearing" by journalists and members of the public, are played on screens between games and when players change sides. They are part of marketing campaigns by major tournament sponsors Kia and IBM. Tennis Australia "has denied the ads are an issue," while Tournament Dir Craig Tiley said that the Australian Open "was one of the last major tournaments to introduce such advertising." Tiley said the adverts had been allowed "on balance" as an addition to sponsors' marketing that would not affect spectators or players. Tiley: "It's a small window to support our partners who are making a significant investment in our sport. We see it as win-win" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/16).