Monday, September 12, 2005

Of Course It's Political! It's Policy!

We need to make a sharp distinction between policy and politics:
LONDON (Reuters) - Make Poverty History (MPH), hailed as one of the most effective lobbying campaigns ever with its simple message and signature white wrist band, was banned on Monday from television and radio advertising in Britain.

Advertising watchdog Ofcom said the goals of its campaign, including an array of stars clicking their fingers to ram home the message that a child dies of preventable poverty every three seconds, were political and therefore outlawed.

"We have reached the unavoidable conclusion that MPH is a body whose objects are 'wholly or mainly' political as defined under the Act. MPH is therefore prohibited from advertising on television or radio," Ofcom said on its Web site.
They thought that global poverty was going to be solved without politics? That doesn't make it "political": it's a non-partisan policy group. Now, I know the rules in the UK are different, but I think it's safe to say that either the rules or the interpretation in this case are too broad.

2 comments:

Alex said...

When you're talking about millions of dollars, perhaps it could still be a personal issue; when talking about billions, it's probably an international issue--and certainly will depend on national policy. This decision is like decrying AIDS awareness campaigns because they include different messages than those sanctioned by the administration.

Ahistoricality said...

Which, of course, is what we do. Yeah.