11 Feb 2011

'Cougar' police recruitment ad pulled before report

5:42 am on 11 February 2011

An advertisement aimed at young police recruits was pulled just before a report critical of police culture was released.

The online and print commercial read "We've got a lot in common with cougars, we like 'em young too".

The term cougar refers to older women who like younger men.

The police commercial only ran for about a fortnight from late December.

It was dumped just before the release of a State Services Commission report looking at culture changes made since 2007, following a Commission of Inquiry into Police conduct.

The police say the advertisement was effective in targeting potential officers, with 25,000 enquiries recorded online.

However human rights lawyer Michael Bott says the ad was out of line and tasteless.

Dave Basset of marketing company BrandNew says the police have failed to see the bigger picture of how the ad could be negatively perceived.