What is #ScottyFromCarpeting trending on Twitter?

Even while the 2021 federal budget delivery by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was unfolding, Australian users could multitask to keep #ScottyFromCarpeting  trending on Twitter.

What is ScottyFromCarpeting?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited a Royal Australian Air Force in Williamtown, north of Newcastle, on Friday to announce a $66million investment in regional airport runways.

Although there is nothing unusual with the PM visiting for the announcement, well actually, there was.

He was walking on a red carpet flanked by a ‘guard’ of Royal Australian Air Force members while visiting a RAAF base.

A photo showed the Prime Minister walking a red carpet flanked by RAAF guards.

ScottyFromCarpeting comes from ScottyFromMarketing which is a popular hashtag to describe the PM on Twitter.

What does ScottyFromMarketing mean?

It takes its origin from Mr Morrison’s politically controversial job – the inaugural managing director of Tourism Australia established by the Howard Government in 2004. His $184 million three-year contentious “So where the bloody hell are you?” advertising campaign was terminated early in July 2006 three weeks after he had been awarded a pay rise by the Remuneration Tribunal.

There were media scrutiny about the reasons of his dismissal and later a 2008 report from the Auditor-General found that “information had been kept from the board, procurement guidelines breached and private companies engaged before paperwork was signed and without appropriate value-for-money assessments”. It was suggested that M&C Saatchi, which had previously worked with Morrison on the “100% Pure” campaign in New Zealand, received favourable treatment in the tendering process.

This episode and, more generally, his career in marketing led to his satirical sobriquet, “Scotty from Marketing”. It was taken up on Twitter in early 2019, and spiked at the height of the bushfire crisis on 29 December 2019. In January 2020 Morrison referred to the name as a “snarky comment” used by the Labor Party to discredit him.