Broadcasting, Comedy, Directing, Media, TV, Uncategorized, Writing


41 Comments 22 January 2013


I got a call from Dick Smith out of the blue just before christmas. “Dan, I got your number from Andrew Denton, I want to make an ad” Why not? He’s an Australian legend. Sounds like fun.

So I wrote the funniest script I thought I could muster on our tiny $10k budget. Then convinced Dick that it’d be fine to run with the innuendo and the boat people joke. (Which is my favourite considering Dick’s stance on population control)

So we shot it in two days, and after another four days in post … we thought it was pretty funny. There was one group that didn’t think it was funny. The CAD approval people.

Dick had booked over $100k in media spots for the 6pm bulletins on Australia Day which required ads to have a G rating. The lowest rating that CAD would muster was a PG rating.

When I told Dick this yesterday, he was overseas on a business trip. He was furious, incredibly upset.

He refused to talk to me over the phone so he just sent me a barrage of angry texts.

Dick decided to cut his China trip short and is heading back to Australia to sort it out.

In the mean time I’ve put up the Uncensored version on YouTube.

And here are some pics from the shoot.

That Scene


Dick Smith with DOP Aaron Smith and Director Dan Ilic

Dan Ilic directing Raj

Dick and the Refugees

Your Comments

41 Comments so far

  1. Megan says:

    Oh my. A bit sad they canned it, but Dick’s a bit angry there. Misplaced anger I think :)

  2. Matt says:

    Anyone that puts together TV spot deals know that the networks won’t ever run without correct CAD approval, including the right rating to be shown at certain times of the day. The ad was obviously not going to get a G rating, anyone can see that.So if the TV buyer knew the ad was like that, common sense should have prevailed and they should have booked it for later in the evening. If they didn’t know or weren’t told, its the fault of the client that they didn’t communicate that.

    Tell that old Dick to calm down, he’ll get his spots, just not on the 6pm slot which he shouldn’t have ever expected in the first place. Plus, he approved the ad, so he can’t turn around and blame anyone but himself. It’ll probably get much more media value than 100k anyway now its been pulled.

    Well done to all the leftie hacks that worked on this

  3. Craig says:

    Hey Dan, not sure why you’d post personal texts from Dick Smith, isn’t it enough to say he was angry & upset?is it to emphasize you’re the good guy and Dick is some crazy old codger? I think you’ve crossed the line there!

  4. Suf says:

    Thanks for posting the uncensored version. I like the ad an I would be understandably upset too if I spent the money and got pushed back. It would be worse if someone I worked with posted those texts online, omitting replies! I think you’re set to gain a lot less than you think you are for posting these.

  5. Lou says:

    (I think Craig and suf both like a good dick!!!)

    Love your work Dan.
    Your trip to Afghanistan won me over.

  6. JB says:


    The ad was never meant to make it to air on TV? Instead, Dan and Dick (as if that’s not a 50′s sitcom) conspired rather cleverly to create a lovely ad with some very important messages about Australia Day and then manufactured some controversy to help it go viral? That way Dick gets his message out and the leftyism can be blamed on Dan and everyone wins.

    Either way it’s comedy gold and I applaud all involved. For the record, I’m sharing the crap out of it because I too, love Dick too.

  7. Dickless says:

    Remove the text msgs, makes Dick look like… well, a dick. Unless that’s what you’re trying to portray?

  8. Jon says:

    Unfortunately, Dick is right – the Fun Police have taken all the fun out of being Australian. We take the piss out of ourselves, that’s what we’re famous for.

  9. Steve says:

    funny ad!

    but surely all this controversy is just a way to get more attention to the ad?? Dick will likely get coverage in all the newspapers, and maybe current affairs tv shows.. Which would be worth much more than the 100k ad spend Dick had planned.

  10. yeahright says:

    yeah right….dick is loving it. Controversy is great! Look at the number of hits you’e getting on your blog.

  11. Kyle says:

    Don’t see why the add got canned and I don’t see why you felt the need to post personal texts online. Poor form.

  12. Trish says:

    I think it’s a great ad.. Wish it was given a G rating by CAD. Don’t agree with your publishing text messages though that would have been intended as private communication though. Bad form I think and not necessary for the article.

  13. Julie says:

    This harmless bit of fun can’t play at 6pm, yet over the years as I drive my kids around in the car, at any time of day, they have seen huge billboards delivering messages re pills for longer lasting sex. Also billboards for Fernwood Fitness Centres which feature the word Dick prominently. Seems like a double standard to me. Go Dick.

  14. Krissyistormy says:

    Is it on YouTube? Can’t load via iOS device.


    I’d be mighty pissed off too! This wonderful country of ours is becoming way too PC following lead from the U.S & as for those text messages ……Dan Dan Dan…tisk tisk, there’s 2 sides to every story & omitting your responses would make one think that you may have something to hide. Man up Danny boy & show us the full text convo….as the saying goes

    Put up or shut up! Dick is a legend.


  15. Dick Smith says:

    Come on. My text messages were sent as a joke so Dan could send them to gullible media people . I love Dan and have no criticism at all!

  16. Dan Barrett says:

    It’s a shame that Dick didn’t get it up.

    The ad that is, which was beaut!

  17. Will says:

    Why was Dick in China? Shouldn’t he be supporting Aussie businesses/tourism?

  18. Trav says:

    Great ad! Dick Smith, a true Aussie legend!

  19. newtaste says:

    PG programs can be shown at 6:00pm on weekends on the three main channels. Why are you claiming that a PG rated commercial can’t be shown on a Saturday at 6:00pm, when the guidelines show that it can be??

  20. el don says:

    great ad for a great person.
    dick’ll get his day in the sun i hope – regularly get the urge to write to him and say, good on you dick for standing up for what you believe in and putting your money where your mouth is.
    and i’m one of those “extreme looney” greens. sigh.
    btw, well done dan too.

  21. newtaste says:

    I’ll add the relevant part of the CAD website:

    ” PG – Parental Guidance “P”


    Parental Guidance Recommended
    May be broadcast during the following hours, except during P and C programs or adjacent to P or C periods:
    • Weekdays 8.30am – 4.00pm
    • Weekdays 7.00pm – 6.00am
    • Weekends 10.00am – 6.00am ”

    The whole story is just a stunt to get some free airtime from a gullible media.

  22. Jackson says:

    nah I agree with the classification, for me it comes across as a little racist and you can’t deny the sexual enuendo. ‘I love dick’ come on mate you must be dafter than a blind budgie to think this was going to get approved for ‘G’ rating. Oh and Hungry Beast and Ronnied Johns apart from the Chopper sketches sucked most of the time too. sorry but felt like prolonging my power trip.

  23. Gerry Harvey says:

    It’s a bloody disgrace that these left wing pinko commie bastards have yet again taken the fun out of everything. When you hippy bogans aren’t saving thousands of dollars buying stuff on the Internet that I’d normally sell for heavily inflated prices you’re putting in complaints to consumer watchdogs. Australia is dead to me.

  24. John says:

    The hype will bring more attention than if it had aired on TV. Well done Dick, well done, who’s a clever Dick then?

    My guess, this was the plan from the beginning.

  25. Jan says:

    Fantastic that this is now on YouTube as it will get more exposure. Nothing wrong with Richard’s nuts..etc. Happy Australia Day everyone! Love Dicks bickers too.✅

  26. Jan says:

    Ps that should read Dick’s Bickies.

  27. Jan Grigg says:

    I think everything in this post is exactly what was intended. Forget tv, you’ll get much more publicity using You Tube and facebook.
    Great advertising nouse. Dick, you’re my hero. Of course I’ll buy your products. A very funny, tongue in cheek ad on facebook just reminded me to renew my pro-Aussie efforts when grocery shopping. Good on you! I wish you success with this!

  28. Ev says:

    Most people are just going to find this ad ridiculous and not very funny at 6pm. He’ll get a slot, and hell everyone’s talking about it and watching it on Youtube. Pretty decent publicity there if you ask me.

  29. Caroline says:

    Great ad. Find it hard to believe that anybody would think an ad repeatedly saying “i love Dick” would get a G rating..the cynic in me thinks you are trying to stir up controversy to get it to go viral which it seems to be doing so job well done

  30. Leesa says:

    It’s the best $100,000 Dick could have spent! It’s already on FB being shared left right and centre.

    It’s on the news (which is the 6pm time slot)

    So jealous at how clever you both are!!!


  31. Krissyistormy says:

    Dude seriously….is that the real Dick? And I suppose that’s the real Gerry Harvey too hahaha if it is, that’s funny AF!

    Thanks for upping it to YouTube, awesome advert & I don’t see a problem with it. My 12 year old daughter who has aspergers autism but is high functioning laughed her arse off then stated “you know mum, there would be idiots out there who would take this the wrong way” more sense from a baby then the so called adults.

    Personally I believe our country under the guidance of the U.S loving Ginger Ninja is being turned into a bunch of Whiney bitches. There was no “racism” in that ad, snap out of it Jackson you bloody sook, you want to see racism go to down town lakemba if youre not Muslim & watch it flow from our invited guests. Maybe you could visit Sheik Al Hilaly while you’re there.

    Well enough rant. I love Dicks products & I love dick he’s a legend!


    I also love the cock! Bwhahaha :D

  32. John Kochanski says:

    A Brilliant piece of work!!! Who cares if a bunch of disconnected suits/do-gooders have seen it clipped.

    Taking the P*ss is the Australian way.

    No that the ads gone viral, who cares what the censors think.

    My tip, “I love Dick” will become a popular catch cry and should be campaigned further.


    Did Dick?

    Dick Did.

    We all love Dick!!!

  33. Hanna says:

    I love it! hilarious! I hope that at least if it doesn’t make it on tv, it makes the rounds on the net.

  34. JudgeG says:

    I don’t really see what’s wrong with the advert. I don’t see anything offensive in it. I think it’s just a normal harmless advert. What is this craziness surrounding it?

  35. Well bugger me Dick, if you haven’t stirred up the pot again you bloody beauty.
    The revolution is under way and the dogs are barking mad. Mate your a champion, not only are you a big slick dick with big balls of fire you tell it the way it is and all real Aussies love you for it. Long live larrikinism and our rebel culture it is that which cuts us from the pack.
    We at Buzz TV Coast to Coast would happily run your ads 24/7 you clever dick you.

  36. newtaste says:

    Are you going to admit that the whole ‘commercial is banned’ story was just a stunt, (and a blatant lie), as it was NEVER banned?


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