Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Make Campaigning History

I have talked highly in this blog about the Make Poverty History campaign. At least in my case it has been a highly positive sign of the possibility to move masses for a political cause. And I do feel that the celebrities were needed and that they were doing a good job. I felt that the Click Ad was highly powerful.

Today´s The Independent informs that the British media watchdog Ofcom has decided that the campaign is too political to be aired on television. According to The Independent, The Communications Act 2003 defines "political ends" as campaigning to bring about a change in the law or to influence the policy of the United Kingdom or foreign governments. The Independent continues:

Ofcom said: "We have reached the unavoidable conclusion that MPH is a body whose objects are 'wholly or mainly' political ... MPH is therefore prohibited from advertising on television or radio". It added: "While the eradication of world poverty may not itself be a matter of political or industrial controversy or current public policy, the manner in which it is achieved could certainly be considered to be so".

I just do not understand. What is the point of this sort of legislation? Raising public awareness is prohibited by law? And my opinion is not based on the fact that I support the campaign. Why is selling an idea or mobilising people worse for a democratic society than marketing an ice cream? It´s not like our societies would not need some shakeup. And why is it so bad to criticise the government on ads? I just do not get this.

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