Every year for the last 15 years, Dads4Kids has celebrated Fathers’ Day with a total of 13 different television campaigns focused on the special role of a father with his kids.
The majority of free to air TV networks across Australia have graciously run these ads for free as a Community Service Announcement up until now. These television commercials are simply a gentle encouragement to Australian dads, and an affirmation that they are an important figure in the lives of their children.
The adverts have been enthusiastically accepted and many TV stations play them all year long as a community service. They are always released in the lead up to Fathers’ Day.
Unfortunately what is a simple Fathers’ Day message has now become a “political” statement.
It is extraordinary that this is where we have come to as a country; we can no longer celebrate Fathers’ Day without being forced to look at it through the lens of the same-sex marriage debate. It’s a tragedy that a political motive is now implied in any mention of fatherhood.
Not everything is about same-sex marriage.
There are lots of dads out there who, while they may be doing it tough, are doing their best for their kids, and the team at Dads4Kids wants to honour and encourage dads to put their families and children first.
We expect that in speaking up about this that we and those connected to us will be attacked and intimidated, and subject to the same vilification in both mainstream and social media that has been meted out to those who have stuck their head above the parapet on same-sex marriage, despite this not being the purpose of our adverts.
To be clear, it was and is not our intention to enter this debate at this time through these advertisements.
And what, you might ask, is in these "political" adverts? They feature a father singing a lullaby to his baby. It is that simple.
Our advert has been inspired by other adverts that support and encourage mothers and families. Please view the 30 second advert here and decide for yourself.
Regardless, we have taken the preventative step of restricting access to our website and social media channels in order to protect ourselves and our families from the expected response to our situation.
We apologise to those who regularly visit our website and engage with us via social media for the inconvenience, but we trust you will understand and thank you for your support.
Ben Pratt for Dads4Kids.