A New Zealand radio station has been criticised after running a competition to see how far its male listeners will go to win tickets to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The Edge offered tickets if two heterosexual male friends got married. "We've done stranger weddings, naked weddings, same sex weddings but this is the first one that we know will end in divorce," the station said in its promotional material. "We know a Kiwi man's life is full of important relationships. A man and his car, a man and his dog, a man and his beer...but these all pale in comparison when compared to that sacred bond with...his mate. His bro."
But even as people took to social media to slam the stunt, the first two men entered the competition. Hayden Kellas and his best friend Lewis Jackman contacted the station to try to win the prize. "As soon as I heard it I was keen as **** … at first I didn't even know there was a trip to England involved," Kellas said, adding that he and Jackman first met at college. "He used to beat me up on the rugby field but anyone who knows us would understand. We probably push the limits a wee bit."
Asked about the negative feedback. Kellas said: "Even my mum said if we won she would be there with bells on."
The station has a reputation for competitions involving bizarre weddings. In the past they have married complete strangers and also staged naked ceremonies. "We're not out to offend, just to make entertaining radio," programme director Leon Wratt said.
Marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa condemned the promotion. "The Edge can dress it up in whatever language they like; the point of this competition is that men marrying each other is still something they think is worth having a laugh at."