How to get your point across


According to the Manchester Evening News shocked residents have not seen the funny side of the below poster:

Do we have the dirty minds or do they?

If I may be so bold as to continue to quote the MEN:

Councillor Maureen Rowles, who lives in Brinnington, said she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw it.

She said: “I don’t think it’s appropriate.

“Some people may see it as funny. We all know what it means – to be putting that out from the council, in my opinion, is a bit below the belt.

“There’s other ways of doing it. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

She is demanding council chiefs explain the decision.

Now obviously, I can understand that there might be some differing opinions over the precise advertising techniques but surely councillors have more important things to do with their time.

In fact, a quick bit of research by the said councillor would have discovered that this particular campaign is actually award winning. Suffolk have been doing something similar for years and it has been very successful.

This brings out two issues:

1) Evidence based decision making. Ok, this particular poster is not a really big issue but even so is there not something to be said for making decisions based on the evidence of how successful the campaign might be. It worked well in Suffolk so maybe the risk of offence to three or four people is worth it if it does the job?

2) How funny we are as a country? Surely, in the 21st century where most songs in our top 40 allow all sorts of so-called ‘minor’ swear words and even radio 1 allows presenters to use previously ‘rude’ words before the watershed a poster using the expression ‘don’t be a tosser’ is acceptable? Yet, 40 years after the Carry On films people still find it possible to raise merry hell by getting upset about council posters.

Here’s my bet: No-one is actually offended by the poster but the councillor has realised that the British press is more likely to run that particular ‘outraged’ story than any other story. Therefore, she can be guaranteed some free publicity.

It’s an unwritten rule where both the press and politicians realise that spouting about a morality that no-one actually follows makes for a good news story and fills some column inches. The press get a story and the politician get’s some fame. No-one who reads it actually cares.

In my mind if it is good enough for Suffolk it is good enough for Stockport; but then I’m not running for office so what do I know.

Explore posts in the same categories: Big P Politics, We love the Council

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5 Comments on “How to get your point across”


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AndySawford and WeLoveLocalGov, PublicSectorBloggers. PublicSectorBloggers said: How to get your point across: According to the Manchester Evening News shocked residents have not seen the funny… http://bit.ly/hBSXHM […]

  2. localgov Says:

    To be frank, if this gets people talking about the issue at all then surely it has done its job? Different marketing appeals to different people; writing a lovely, high-brow dissertation for a Sunday supplement section might get through to some but not others.

    I know I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek nature of this!

  3. Krin Says:

    Good analysis of possible reasons behind the Councillors reaction.

    For what it’s worth this campaign slogan originated in NSW in Australia, back in 2002, and has been very successful. Litter counts fell substantially from the baseline at the start of the campaign, and have remained low ever since. To be honest, I’m still shocked at the level of casual littering here, so many tossers!
    http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/warr/2005034_ed_dontbeatosser_cs.pdf

    There’s even a “Don’t be a tosser” litter campaign kits for Councils in the state:
    http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/warr/litterkit.htm

    If the council wishes to supplement this campaign with another one of a similar ilk from NSW they could consider the anti-speeding campaign:
    http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/speedandspeedcameras/campaigns/index.html

  4. Andrew Says:

    Surely the offensive bit of the poster is the outdated design? That yellow should have been left in the 70s where it belongs.


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