The iconic sticker that dominated Perth’s cars
There was a time when it was hard to find a car in Perth without one on the bumper or rear window.
“I wish we could claim it as an original idea” 96FM Managing Director Gary Roberts said.
“We took one look at it and said ‘96FM Rocks Perth’, that fits into exactly what we’re doing, let’s do that.”
After the station gave away “a squillion” black, gold and red stickers and, prior to that, the silver blue and red ones. These were something fresh.
“We then had a lot of requests from people saying, ‘what about my suburb? Can you do Scarborough, can you do Balcatta?’ of course we could.”
The demand for the individual suburb stickers went through the roof.
It wasn’t long before the stickers were, for a small cost, being produced for businesses.
“Everyone was running around with stickers on the back of their car with ‘96FM Rocks’ whatever they wanted it to be.”
Not every request got though.
“Some things we rejected and said ‘no, we won’t be doing that’ but the vast majority of them, people wanted, the demand was just outrageous,” he said.
“Our promotions team spent most of their time handing out those bloody stickers!”
Another piece of merch that people couldn’t get enough of was 96FM sweatshirts.
“They were white and had the blue-and-red logo on them, which was the original colour,” Roberts said. “And we started saying ‘if you want one, come in a get one, they’re $9.96’, and people were coming in and lining up and we kept running out of stock, we couldn’t keep up.”
The demand was so great, the receptionist spent most of their time selling the sweatshirts - not answering the phone.
At the time, Kerry Stokes was the biggest investor in 96FM.
“He rolled in one morning and said the receptionist ‘I’d like a half a dozen of those in that size’,” Roberts recalled.
“She said, ‘yes, that that will be… and gave him the price’ and he said ‘I own it, I’m not going to pay for it’.”
The receptionist resisted.
“She said, ‘Gary told me everyone pays, and that includes you’,” he said. “She then called me and said, ‘Kerry’s here and won’t pay for his sweatshirts’.”
It was bad news for Stokes.
“I said ‘tell him he’s the same as everyone else, pay for the bloody sweatshirts’,” Roberts said, pissing himself laughing.
“So, Kerry came marching down and said ‘I’m not paying for this!’, and I said ‘Yeah you are mate, everyone pays’… but Kerry was great to work with.”