WorkChoices, ImageChoices and the Marketing of New Industrial Relations Legislation
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This article takes a critical discourse approach to one aspect of the Australian WorkChoices industrial relations legislation: the government's major advertisement published in national newspapers in late 2005 and released simultaneously as a 16-page booklet.This strategic move was the initial stage of one of the largest `information' campaigns ever mounted by an Australian government, costing more than $AUD137 million. This article analyse the semiotic (visual and graphic) elements of the advertisement to uncover what these elements contribute to the message, particularly through their construction of both an image of the legislation and a portrayal of the Australian worker.We argue for the need to fuse approaches from critical discourse studies and social semiotics to deepen understanding of industrial relations phenomena such as the `hard sell' to win the hearts and minds of citizens regarding unpopular new legislation.
Work, Employment and Society