Monday, November 06, 2006

Nice war

The MoD is under for fire for spending £1.5m on an Army TV ad.

The ad, made by Publicis, was shot in Chile in South America. The £1.5m cost makes it one of the most expensive British Army ads ever made.

Critics are suggesting that the "forward as one" spot, which features paratroopers running out of the back of a C-130 transport plane and clearing a house with grenades, roping out of a helicopter, before converging on a bridge with more troops and vehicles, is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

 It looks pretty expensive and you imagine it’s the kind of thing that happens in the Brecon Beacons and on Salisbury Plain all the time.

Which is why you have to wonder why they flew all the men and equipment to South America for the ad.

This all comes at a time when troops fighting in the field are short of everything from Kevlar to bullets and properly armoured vehicles.

Ad agencies love to travel and even better to travel on a client's budget. Everyone knows that long-time favourite locations are New Zealand where you can film everything from people hula hooping (Heart FM), apples in an orchard (Magners), young people in the street (T-Mobile) and so many more. South Africa is a long time adland favourite as well.

So, it is good to see Chile getting a look in. Although, to be honest, the explanation of the MoD doesn't quite ring true.

"Part of the appeal of the Army is that you get to travel the world. The ad was intended to show that and did so very well."

Really? Scrub land and forests with some mud and a bridge that looks like England. Or possible more like Scotland?

Looks like another example of the COI not controlling costs and allowing budgets to spiral as the governments spending on advertising continues to soar.

In August, it was reported the COI had spent £168m on advertising as the department came under fire as departments including the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions questioned its value. Posted by Picasa


At 2:22 PM, Blogger Mrs Belmot said...

Hello Gordon!

I haven't watched the ad yet, but maybe some appropriate music would justify such a hefty price tag (made a LOT heftier because it's nearly Christmas - not many shopping days left now!)?

I'm sick of government (especially local government) spending money where it's NOT needed and NOT spending money where it IS needed.

I raised a similar issue on my blog when Dorking councillors were in UPROAR about more than £10,000 being spent on Christmas lights:


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