Telstra Next G with Dustin Bob and John

Dustin Hoffman, Bob Geldof and John McEnroe star in a TV ad campaign for Telstra’s Next G network, the network being rolled out to replace CDMA in Australia. The commercials will run over the next 12 months and contrast the capability of Telstra’s Next G™ network against the short-comings of other mobile networks – both international and in Australia. The campaign will also reinforce the benefits the Next G™ network can provide to customers yet to upgrade from Telstra’s CDMA network which will be switched off at the end of January next year.

Dustin Hoffman in Telstra television commercial

Dustin Hoffman

Hoffman’s in the United States, talking to a colleague on his cell phone, giving instructions for a house auction. Unfortunately, due to the poor reception, Sam, in the car, is confused about the bidding limit. Rachel Carpani, of McLeod’s Daughters, tells Hoffman that this would never happen in Australia. Hoffman says he’s moving there!

Click on the image below to play the video.

Bob Geldof

Also featured in the campaign is Bob Geldof. Sir Bob is shown delaying a flight’s take-off because of the length of time an email is taking to download to his phone. Having exhausted the airline’s patience, the last frame shows Sir Bob being dragged away by two policeman.

John McEnroe

John McEnroe stars as a disgruntled businessman who can’t believe the poor quality of his mobile phone range as he travels in a high rise building lift.

Click on the image below to play the video.

Telstra’s Executive Director for Brand, Advertising, Media and Sponsorship, Mr Bill Obermeier, said Telstra wanted to ensure that Australians knew how the Next G™ network not only could change the way they live, work, and get entertained, but was of world-beating standard.

“Telstra’s Next G™ network is not only the fastest 3G mobile network in Australia, up to five times faster than competitor 3G networks, but other communications companies internationally have been watching our wireless transformation with interest and envy,” Mr Obermeier said.

“We are delighted to have engaged some of the world’s leading personalities to highlight our own world leading position and demonstrate the key attributes of the Next G™ network – speed, coverage and simplicity.

Trouble for Telstra

The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has made a ruling requiring Telstra to modify the TV ads, changing the words “this would never have happened in Australia” to “I wish I was in Australia”.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has followed that requirement up by instituting proceedings in the Federal Court against Telstra Corporation Limited for alleged contraventions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 in relation to the promotion of its Next G network. The ACCC alleges that Telstra has engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by representing that the Next G mobile network “covers the entire country” and has “coverage everywhere you need it”.


The Telstra Next G campaign, launched this month, is being rolled out by Melbourne advertising agency George Patterson Y&R, by executive creative director Michael Stanford, chief strategy officer Mike Morrison, and agency producer Brendan Johnson.

Filming is being directed by David Denneen via Film Graphics, with executive producer Anna Fawcett.