EU referendum: Vote In campaigners say 'patronising' video adverts were made knowing people would ridicule them

Britain Stronger In Europe tasked the agency Venturethree with coming up with the “#votin” campaign

Adam Withnall
Wednesday 25 May 2016 11:59 BST
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'Votin' advert branded patronising

Campaigners pushing for Britain to stay in the EU made a deliberately embarrassing and condescending series of adverts in the full knowledge it would be mocked by the very people it was trying to target.

Britain Stronger In Europe tasked the agency Venturethree with coming up with the “#votin” campaign, which showed young people doing a variety of activities next to words like “workin”, “shoppin”, “ravin” and “chattin”.

The campaign was roundly mocked online when it first emerged on Tuesday, with the Conservative MP and prominent Eurosceptic James Cleverly dismissing it as something “someone in their 50s came up with” and “so bad I thought it was a parody by the Brexit team”.

But according to those behind the campaign, the adverts were made with the full knowledge people would ridicule them as “David Cameron trying to be young”.

Defending the decision to create a campaign which they knew people would mock, ad executive TJ Rees told The Drum: “We are sure that when this ad goes out people will take the piss out of it, it had to be that way rather than this race to vanilla that seems to be the way that a lot of these communications are going.”

Scott Townsin, a designer at Venturethree, said the grammatically dubious headlines had been created to “start the conversation”.

“I look at that and think oh a spelling mistake, I’m going to read that,” he said. “Even if people are annoyed about it, because I can imagine people saying, ‘oh David Cameron is trying to be young,’ but I think that is a good thing because that’s a conversation that wasn’t happening before.”

A spokesman for the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign admitted the ads had not been created with goal of receiving “universal praise”.

He told The Independent: “No political campaign is ever going to be immune from criticism, especially on a forum like Twitter.

“Our view is that the issue of encouraging young people to register to vote in the most important decision the country will make in a generation is more important than universal praise.”

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