Feeds

Gov spunks hundreds of thousands on mobe condom clip

Prophylactic promo reaches 5k viewers

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Much backslapping at the Department for Children, Schools and Families whose safe-sex mobile phone drama, Thmbnls, has been shortlisted for a Meffy (Mobile Entertainment Award). It ought to be gong-worthy, given the series is costing the UK taxpayer more than fifty quid per viewer.

The department has spent 4.6 million nicker on its "Want respect? Use a Condom" promotion, the centrepiece of which is a weekly drama sent direct to mobile phones for free. The government even takes care of the data costs.

It's that drama that has been shortlisted for the industry award recognising the campaign's "effectiveness" and "quantifiable business benefits" despite the fact that only 5,054 viewers are subscribed to the series which cost more than quarter of a million quid to shoot.

Not that £250,000 is the only cash that Thmbnls consumed: the PR agency signed up to promote the series trousered more than that, and we still don't know how much was spent on the website and assorted other promotional material as it becomes harder to separate out from the larger campaign. There's also the cost of distributing the series to subscribers which isn't included - though the project saved money there by keeping viewing figures down.

We reported on the £4.6m budget back in March, at which time we didn't manage to get any kind of breakdown of the campaign costs despite repeated attempts. That piece so incensed Register reader Dave Gunn that he pursued a Freedom of Information request to find out exactly how many people were subscribed to the drama, and how much cash had been spent making it; after a bit of a struggle he finally obtained the 5k figure which (discounting promotion and distribution) comes down to £50 a head.

Thmbnls Logo

Want respect - don't piss away money on Web 2.0 rubbish

Not that the pitch PR agency 20:20 London made to the Mobile Entertainment Forum makes any mention of that - they'd prefer to concentrate on the tens of thousands of views the YouTube trailer got. Those figures are real enough, but that makes it all the more remarkable that the following episodes only managed to average about 30 viewings. Thmbnls does have a Facebook presence, but it only counts 357 fans, while the Twitter channel can only manage 237 followers - the pitch skipped over those details too.

Preventing teenage pregnancies is an important thing, and government money can be well spent that way, but it's hard to see how the makers of Thmbnls can keep a straight face when judged against "Increased brand awareness & statistical evidence" or "Quantifiable business benefits".

We hope the Meffy judges won't be as dazzled by the new technology as the people who approved the budget for the drama no one watched. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.