Thursday, 18 February 2010

Government advertising

Government spending on advertising has risen by 40% in the last year. Yes, I've noticed. This new video from the TPA reminded me of it.

That's just DEFRA.

There are two others I don't like - the one about not leaving stuff visible to thieves (how about stop pretending victims of crime have themselves to blame and put the money into improving the police) and the science and maths one with the climate forecaster - "it's more of the same I'm afraid unless we do something about it" - with a terrible joke at the end - how about putting the money into improving education perhaps? And stop making political points (scientists study what's happening, not what to do, as far as I'm concerned).

And above all, they become incredibly annoying when you just get government adverts thrown at you on radio, TV, Spotify especially is a particularly bad one. Why are government adverts annoying? Because they haven't got to make money from adverts. The adverts are of benefit to no one, they just patronise people and annoy them. The theft one is both patronising and drains confidence in the police's ability to fight crime.

It's not the government's place to advertise and tell us how to behave anyway. Leave where I leave my stuff to me, how much I drink to me, what I do to me - and I can find out the information without government advertising, and take responsibility for my own life. And with the sort of fiscal hole we're in, £253 million on advertising should be one of the first things to go. Propaganda has no place in a free society.

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