Category Archives: Advertising

Is this the last word on the ‘Fatima’ re-skilling advert that the Tories had to withdraw?


Remember this?

I’ve already produced one article about it but this was too good to omit.

It speaks for itself, I think:

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The big Tory ‘Rethink Reskill Reboot’ blunder that has backfired badly

Boris Johnson should have known better but he didn’t. Neither did his Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, who is more directly responsible.

You see, after he announced that he was re-focusing government support to concentrate only on “viable” employment, Sunak had to answer questions about what was to be done with people whose jobs were “unviable”, according to his reckoning.

His answer? “Rethink. Reskill. Reboot.” He wanted people to re-train for different jobs.

No doubt he is now left wondering why people in some employment sectors have taken his words as an attack…

… especially after a government advert that appeared today:

It specifically targets entertainers – “Fatima” is a ballet dancer, and therefore belongs to a highly-exclusive corner of the live entertainment sector.

And it suggests that her time would be better-spent working at a desk, in front of a computer, making money for somebody else. Hence this response:

(Of course the reference is to the fact that the government lost more than 16,000 positive Covid-19 traces because it was recording them on an Excel spreadsheet that ran out of fields.)

Others have responded equally bitingly – and often amusingly. I’ll intersperse what follows with some of these.

But it is important to mention the elephant in this particular room: the fact that entertainment is a multi-billion pound industry that deserves government support that Sunak and Johnson aren’t providing.

The case was made very well by Rou Reynolds. If you’re not familiar with the name, he’s the lead singer of the band Enter Shikari – a personal favourite of This Writer’s stepdaughter, before you all start labouring under illusions that I’m suddenly “with it”.

In an open letter to Sunak, published by that venerable pop periodical Kerrang!, he made the case for entertainers to receive support – and he made it well:

Musicians rely on live performance for their main source of income.

The music industry has been one of the most drastically hit industries throughout the whole [Covid-19] crisis. And as the government furlough scheme ends in a few weeks, your government has decided to give the least amount of support for one of the hardest hit industries.

Like a fish writhing in the dust at the bottom of a drained lake, in losing the option of gigging, those in the music industry have been deprived of their life-source.

And the government is standing on what was once the shoreline, suggesting to the fish that it retrains as an elephant.

Most people in the music industry are now being told they no longer have a “viable job” and must retrain or otherwise adapt. There is to be no financial support for them. This, from the same government that wasted £2 billion on helping businesses that are actually thriving during the pandemic. From the same government that wasted millions painting planes, handing out dodgy coronavirus contracts to its ill-equipped pals and employing inept private companies to do jobs they aren’t trained for.

Lots of people are rightly focusing on the economics, pointing out that the music industry adds £5 billion a year to the UK economy. Live music specifically adds the same amount as the whole of the UK fishing industry.

But I would argue that even more important than the economics, live music creates community, friendships and it brings people together indiscriminately – something that this country desperately needs. It is a reliable tonic for our mental health, both for the performers and the listeners. It heals, it unites, it gives hope, it provides escape, it motivates us and it connects us.

Of course, these things are not measured in our economic statistics. Nor do they seem to be acknowledged at all.

Telling artists to diversify, retrain, or simply get another job is even odd in itself, to be honest. Most artists do have other jobs already. Most artists juggle multiple aspects of their own career already. Many could attempt to get more hours in the jobs they have outside of the music industry and just what…? Leave it to rot? Leave it in the safe hands of the well-funded, “establishment-approved” mainstream, and lose all the beautiful diversity and nuance of the underground, the alternative and the more esoteric scenes? The very scenes that have made UK music the world’s most inventive and leading cultural force for decades.

And it’s not just artists that are going to struggle either without support, is it? It’s not just whinging, complaining singers like me!

You remember those iceberg diagrams? The musicians are the little bit of the iceberg we see above the water. Look below the surface and you witness the true extent of the colossal size of the industry: it’s huge.

It’s the stage technicians, lighting designers, engineers, management and production teams, agents, press teams, media, photographers, videographers, promoters, venue staff, security, bus and truck drivers, caterers, even the kebab shop near the venue that relies on the gig-goer’s custom to keep its doors open. What happens to them?

And if you remove an artist’s main source of income, how are they then supposed to afford to record new music? You’re then impacting the record producers, the studio engineers, the mixing and mastering engineers, the session musicians, the video directors and music video production teams, the labels and the publishers.

You and your government must reconsider.

Yours,
Rou Reynolds (unviable content creator, awaiting retraining)

Source: An Open Letter To Rishi Sunak, By Rou Reynolds — Kerrang!

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The Conservatives are using Facebook to recruit racists

Can there be any other interpretation of this Tory campaign to build support in constituencies where the Labour MP has only a small majority?

They have been using Facebook’s facility to provide targeted – and therefore under-the-radar – advertising to attract voters in 19 Labour marginals.

And the line they have taken is hatred of foreigners.

We should not be surprised. It comes from the party that gave us racist vans telling people of foreign descent to “go home” in 2013, and followed it up with the Windrush scandal that is still rumbling on, two years after it was revealed.

Now they are stirring up offence at Labour MPs in Bedford, Coventry, Warwick, Newport and elsewhere by highlighting their opposition to the Tories’ Immigration Bill at the start of the month.

But they aren’t doing it honestly. Their campaign doesn’t say, “Your MP opposes our restrictions on care workers.” That would be honest.

Bear this in mind:

A study by the organisation First Draft which fact-checked Conservative targeted Facebook ads at the general election found that 88 per cent of them were misleading or dishonest, compared to none for opposition parties.

No – the Tory campaign says, “Your MP just voted against ending free movement.”

It shows how brainwashed some of the UK’s racists have become. They think ending free movement between nations is a good idea because it stops foreigners from coming to the UK and don’t spare a second’s thought for the fact that it means they can’t easily go abroad, either.

The Tory ads go on to engage interested racists in a data collection exercise that asks them to fill in a survey that even the Independent describes as “spurious”, with questions like, “Do you support strengthening our immigration system?”

The fact is that our immigration system no longer needs strengthening as there is now little reason for anybody to want to come to our used-up and ruined civilisation.

Would you want to come to work in a country where the jobs don’t pay and you’re subjected to racist abuse every day of your life?

Even education is a no-no nowadays, as even the biggest of our universities are finding. Who would want to educate themselves at the same place that produced prime muttonhead Boris Johnson?

But that won’t occur to the racists being targeted by the Tories as – at least in the educated opinion of This Writer – racists are simply not intelligent enough to think about this issues.

So we can see where this is leading.

The Tories will use their ad campaign – costing how much, I wonder? – to build up a database of useful idiots.

Then, when there’s an election, they’ll start sending these allies targeted messages, weighted to cause the maximum resentment of their Labour representatives.

This will be calculated to go viral, with these people mentioning the attack lines to their mates at work, online and even in the pub if it’s fully open by then (but nobody will mention the restriction being due to Tory idiocy).

The intended result is obvious: Labour loses those constituencies at the next election.

And what is Labour doing about it?

Under Keir Starmer, that party has stopped advertising on Facebook altogether – in an attempt at solidarity with Black Lives Matter after the social media platform was accused of failing to do enough to remove hate speech and racism, and after Starmer was caught badmouthing the anti-racist movement.

Good going, Clueless Keir!

On the other hand, the new New Labour leader has launched a social media campaign claiming that the party is “Under New Management” in a betrayal of all the socialist party members to whom he promised to continue the popular policies of Jeremy Corbyn.

He probably expected it to soar but it has sunk like a ton of bricks:

And what are we to conclude?

Simply this:

Labour under Keir Starmer will give constituencies away to the Tories because he is too busy chasing away his core support to fight their lies.

Source: Tories running targeted anti-immigration ad campaign against Labour MPs in marginal seats | The Independent

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Burger King trolls Johnson with ‘Whopper on the side of a bus’

The Burger King fast food franchise has mocked Conservative leader Boris Johnson’s lies – by putting its own whopper on the side of a bus.

The advert has appeared on a red London bus. Alongside a picture of a burger, the text reads: “Another Whopper on the side of a bus. Must be an election.”

It is a dig at Mr Johnson, who supported the false claim of Vote Leave in the EU referendum campaign, that the UK sent £350 million a week to the EU.

Mr Johnson said the money could be better-spent on the NHS.

The claim was false, and was widely criticised with UK Statistics Authority chairman Sir David Nosgrove describing it as a “clear misuse” of official figures”.

A Burger King spokesman said: “As the Home of the Whopper, we felt that if anyone has the right to stick whoppers on the side of a bus, it’s us.”

For details of further whoppers told by Boris Johnson, read the Conservative manifesto.

Source: ‘Another Whopper on the side of a bus’: Burger King ad mocks Vote Leave’s Brexit bus | inews

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Tory lies about Universal Credit are STILL being used – to harm vulnerable benefit claimants

‘Not all correct’: It turns out that the DWP’s ad campaign didn’t set the record straight… in other words, it was crooked.

A keystone of the Tory claim that Universal Credit makes lives better has been ruled misleading by an advertising watchdog – but is still being used to trick people into signing up for the failed “benefit”.

The claim – that “people move into work faster” under Universal Credit “fails to meet the basic standards of truthfulness and honesty that we demand of soap powder commercials”, according to Paul Morrissey, in a letter to The Guardian.

It was featured in a series of adverts that appeared in Metro and MailOnline.

But not only has it been used 67 times by Conservative MPs defending Universal Credit in Parliament (as well as in countless media interviews), it also indicates that officials in the DWP “seem to have been willing participants in attempts by the government to manipulate the evidence… rather than providing an objective analysis of its impact”, according to fellow scribe Alan Spence.

The claim breached the advertising code under rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.9 (Qualification) and 3.11 (Exaggeration) – and the DWP has been “neither able to satisfactorily explain its actions or apologise for the harm they will have caused to the people who may have moved on to Universal Credit as a result”, according to Raji Hunjan, CEO of Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, the first anti-poverty charity to complain about the adverts.

She said the ruling had come too late, as the ad campaign has ended.

So Z2K has launched a public campaign calling for an apology from the DWP and an independent investigation into how and why these adverts came to be authorised.

Ms Hunjan wrote: “It is vital that we the public can trust government departments to be telling us the truth, particularly in being clear about their strategies to ensure that the social security system works as a safety net to reduce the numbers of people now living in poverty in the UK.

“Instead of using taxpayers’ money on a failed PR campaign, the DWP must now start engaging meaningfully with the widespread evidence of the impact of welfare reform on pushing people into poverty.”

Do you think it will?

This Writer would rather see punitive action taken against those within the DWP – and the Conservative Party – who thought it would be a wizard wheeze to publish a pack of lies.

I would also like to see the DWP broken up and a return to the more supportive ethos of the former Department for Social Security.

For that, we need a Labour government.

That’s a fact we can all trust.

Source: Untangling the lies told about universal credit | Letters | Society | The Guardian

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Tory government’s lies about Universal Credit banned by advertising watchdog

False: The adverts appeared in the Metro newspaper.

The Tory government used public money to lie about what it was doing for poor people, according to the Advertising Standards Authority.

The watchdog organisation has banned a series of government adverts intended to boost Universal Credit – which the Tories said busted myths about the benefit.

In fact, according to the ASA, the government’s claims were lies.

A claim that people moved into work faster on universal credit (UC) than under the old system could not be substantiated.

And claims that job centres will pay an advance to people who need it and that rent can be paid directly to landlords under UC were also found to be unsupported.

The ads appeared in the Metro newspaper and website, and in MailOnline – and attracted 44 complaints, including from the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) and the anti-poverty charity Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K), who have called for the DWP to apologise in light of the ASA ruling.

Your money was used to pay for these lies – and now that Tories are seeking re-election, no doubt to spend your money on more lies.

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Vox Political proved right about payments to the EU – £200m/week LESS than claimed

‘£350 million a week for the NHS’: it was a ‘Leave’ campaign lie, endorsed by Boris Johnson. In fact the UK has paid only £150m a week to the EU, on average. Is Mr Johnson using the rest to bribe us in the run-up to an expected general election?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed that UK payments to the European Union averaged around £150 million per week between 2014 and 2018 – but this shouldn’t be news to you.

Vox Political said we were paying more or less that much in June 2016 – a little more than a week before the referendum was held.

How did I know? That’s easy. I knew because I did my own research rather than taking the word of the selfish right-wingers running the “Leave” campaign.

Before anyone writes in to point out that I said spending was £161 million a week and that’s not the same as £150 million a week, please bear in mind that I quoted that figure three years ago and our payments have fallen since then. The £150 million figure is an average over a period of years.

Britain’s contribution to the EU budget was £150m a week, significantly lower than the £350m cited by pro-Brexit campaigners in the 2016 referendum campaign, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Figures published yesterday showed that the UK’s net outgoings to Brussels were as low as £7.8bn a year on average over the past five years, once the rebate and other payments were taken into account.

Previous estimates by statisticians suggested the figure was closer to £9.8bn a year between 2014 and 2018.

Vote Leave, the official pro-Brexit campaign group, claimed the UK’s contribution to the EU was “around £20bn”. The group covered a bus with a slogan stating the country sends £350m a week to Brussels, and called for the money to go to the NHS instead.

The logical question, following on from this information, is: what has happened to the extra £200 million a year that we haven’t been paying in to the EU?

In fact, as I pointed out in my 2016 article, once you factor in the UK’s profit, in revenues raised from EU migrants, this country was in profit by £120 billion per week.

Admittedly, this was also in 2016 and the figure may have fallen drastically after the referendum result made these shores unfriendly to visitors from the EU27.

There’s still a huge amount of moolah missing, it seems to me.

Is this how Boris Johnson has managed to afford the huge funding commitments with which he is trying to bribe the people?

If so, someone should point out that he and previous prime ministers could have used that money at any time between 2016 and now, shoring up our health service against (for example) winter crises that have killed tens of thousands per year, or preventing the deaths of more than 100,000 people by boosting the benefits system.

It would be the depth of immorality to try to buy our votes in this way.

Would you be happy to support Boris Johnson, knowing his offers are backed by blood money?

Source: Britain paid just £150m a week to Europe – lower than the £350m cited by pro-Brexit campaigners in 2016 | inews

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Facebook cancels Tory advert that faked a news story

Remember the advert for the Conservative Party on Facebook, mentioned on This Site, that included a ‘doctored’ BBC News headline?

Facebook has removed it from circulation.

But the advert is to remain ‘on file’ as an example of how the platform is “misused”.

Before being deactivated the adverts received between 222,000 and 510,000 views – part of the £250,000 of advertising the party has run on the site across the last year.

A spokesperson told the BBC the advert would be kept as an example in their ad library so “people can see how our tools were misused”.

This is bad news for the Conservative Party, as the social media platform’s decision means it will be harder for the Tories to hoodwink the public in the future.

Source: Conservative Party have advert removed by Facebook for putting a fake headline on a BBC news story | The Independent

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Law to block “no deal” Brexit has Royal Assent. Did BoJob just splurge thousands on a duff ad campaign?

Ready for an extension? The Conservatives have been flooding the social media with “Get ready for Brexit” adverts – but was this a lie?

The Queen has given Royal Assent to a backbench law barring the government from taking the UK out of the European Union without a withdrawal agreement that has been approved by Parliament.

This means that, if Boris Johnson fails to negotiate such a deal before October 19, he will have to beg the EU for an extension in which an agreement can be hammered out. The law even provides the text of the letter, to ensure that Mr Johnson sticks to the intention – as well as the letter – of this law.

And this creates an interesting issue, because the Tory government has been flooding the media with adverts insisting that we need to “Get Ready for Brexit” on October 31.

Here‘s The Guardian:

The government has spent tens of thousands of pounds in recent days on adverts promising “Brexit is happening” on 31 October, despite increasing uncertainty over whether it actually will, PA Media reports.

Figures from Facebook showed the government had paid out £30,531 on the targeted posts in the five days since they were launched on 4 September – the same week MPs voted to block a no-deal departure.

The adverts point to information for businesses and members of the public on how to prepare for the planned exit on Halloween.

It might have been better for Mr Johnson to prepare for the planned exit on Hallowe’en – but we understand that the EU hasn’t heard a word from him.

Those adverts started going out on September 4, the day the Commons voted to approve the anti-“no deal” Act. So there’s no way the Tories can say they didn’t know it was coming.

So this raises a major question:

Did the Conservatives irresponsibly waste tens of thousands of pounds on a lie?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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New campaign will showcase politicians’ ‘honest’ Brexit statements

Telling: Is the possibility of increased ‘serious organised crime’ post-Brexit the real reason Boris Johnson’s government is boosting (albeit feebly) crimefighting measures?

“Honest” ‘no deal’ Brexit adverts are coming to our billboards courtesy of campaigners Led by Donkeys, to counteract a £100 million “public information campaign” by Boris Johnson.

Critics have labelled BoJob’s plan a propaganda campaign to mislead the public and normalise a chaotic exit from the European Union.

Led By Donkeys have therefore set up their own adverts featuring warnings given by Johnson’s cabinet ministers over the past three years.

Take a look: