Police told terror ads too
Scared now? What about now?
The Association of Chief Police Officers has been told not to re-broadcast an anti-terror advert it ran on TalkSPORT radio.
The advert urged people to call the "Anti-Terrorist Hotline" to report suspicious behaviour such as anyone paying with cash "because he doesn't have a bank card", or keeping his curtains closed "because his house is on a bus route".
The Metropolitan Police Service responded to the Advertising Standards Authority on behalf of ACPO. It claimed the behaviours described in the advert were "based on trends identified by police and had been amongst evidence given in court at recent terrorism trials".
The ASA noted that the behaviour described could also apply to the behaviour of a number of law-abiding citizens and that listeners who identified with such behaviour could be offended by the suggestion that their behaviour was suspicious.
10 people complained to the ASA that the ad was encouraging people to report law-abiding citizens and said it was offensive. 16 believed the ad could encourage people to harass or victimise their neighbours and nine complained it made an undue appeal to fear.
The ASA asked ACPO not to repeat the advert in its present form.
The ad in full:
The following message is brought to you by TalkSPORT and the Anti-Terrorist Hotline. The man at the end of the street doesn't talk to his neighbours much, because he likes to keep himself to himself. He pays with cash because he doesn't have a bank card, and he keeps his curtains closed because his house is on a bus route. This may mean nothing, but together it could all add up to you having suspicions. We all have a role to play in combating terrorism. If you see anything suspicious, call the confidential, Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 XXXXXX. If you suspect it, report it.
The full adjudication can be read here. ®
*Update: Acpo got in touch to point out, quite correctly, that the ASA ruled the ad was found likely to cause serious offense, but did not "make an undue appeal to fear". Headline adjusted accordingly.
Not Good Enough
This ad ran some serious shivers down my spine. It is a near-perfect replica of some of the posters and radio announcements from the age of Joseph Vissarionovich. It stirred some "genetic memory" from the days when 90% of my extended family on my mom's side got their marching orders down that corridor in the basement that finishes with that famous wall painted in institutional green.
Banning this ad is not enough.
It should be unbanned and run repeatedly in parallel with the Stalin ones so people really get a sense of perspective on what is a democracy and what is a country run by a deluded offspring of a church official (any likelihood is probably purely coincidental).
Well done terrorists - you done it after all
It looks like the terrorists have achieved their goals after all. Turning our society in a bunch of fear mongering, suspicious, out of our minds lunatics who have willingly sacrificed their freedom, quality of life, humanity - because we are obsessed with absolute, abject fear.
So, according to this radio advert, every loner, slightly missfit, miss-adjusted, everybody who is a little bit weird, a little bit unusual, a bit non-conformist, uncommon in any way - will end up being the target and victim of our 'safety-for-all' antiterrorism effort. All we have to do is just keep our heads down and act like a flock of sheep - making sure we don't do anything different then the next guy - and the next after, and the next million. I was brought up in a communist regime - and this all starts to look pretty much the same. We were told the same things by the internal 'security' police about keeping an eye on our neighbours for the sake of the 'mother country'. My goodness, it really looks like one of those scary futuristic films. When the hell did people stop having any balls and started caring so little about their freedom and their soul?
"and he keeps his curtains closed because"
Well that's the entire population of night shift workers and those who live with them branded as terror suspects eh?
Nice going Plod