Entries from March 2010 ↓

Labour’s new ad: your brief should you choose to accept it

Interesting approach from Labour HQ in light of the total catastrophe in the political billboards market. To save their ad agency the humiliation of getting their billboards hacked, they’re going to first base by asking people to design Labour’s next political advert. Like the crowdsourcing methodology. Here’s the two design briefs:

1. Labour’s pledge to protect frontline investment in key services

Objective
Highlight Labour’s pledge to protect frontline investment in key services
What single thought should people take away from your poster?
Labour will protect frontline investment in policing, schools, childcare and the NHS, with a new guarantee of cancer test results within a week
Why should they believe us?
Labour has always valued the public services on which mainstream families rely. In 1997, when the British people entrusted us with the job of protecting our public services the task facing us was clear – to rebuild and restore them after decades of neglect. Standards have risen and now we need to give guarantees of high standards to everyone – not just the lucky few – at the same time as delivering value for taxpayers’ money and services which are tailored to everyone’s personal needs.

2. Highlight David Cameron’s lack of substance
Objective
Let people know about David Cameron’s lack of substance. He’s boasted about being a good salesman – he’s not the conviction politician we need for these tougher times.
What single thought should people take away from your poster?
Running the country is a serious matter and David Cameron doesn’t have the substance to take on that job
Why should they believe us?
All David Cameron’s focus has been on changing image – airbrushing posters, sledding at the North poll or being photographed cycling. Because of this he seems to think that it’s easy to get away with the same old Tory policies – telling people he’s for fairness when promising a tax giveaway for the wealthiest and cutting Child Trust Funds and Child Tax Credits when families need them the most. Instead of taking on the old fashioned, hardline Tories in his Party, he has appeased them by giving in on the issues they are obsessed about like foxhunting, grammar schools and Europe.

Future fair for all

Here’s the new pledge card:

Hipstamatic takes great pics

west bromwich hipstamatic

scene from west bromwich east

I’ve been testing the new iPhone application, hipstamatic. It takes beautiful, sixties style images.

Letter to the FT (Financial Times) – Amendment 120A Digital Economy Bill

Dear Sirs,
We regret that the House of Lords last week adopted amendment 120A to the Digital Economy Bill. This amendment not only significantly changes the injunctions procedure in the UK but will lead to an increase in Internet service providers blocking websites accused of illegally hosting copyrighted material without cases even reaching a judge. The amendment seeks to address the legitimate concerns of rights-holders but would have unintended consequences which far outweigh any benefits it could bring.
Endorsing a policy that would encourage the blocking of websites by UK broadband providers or other Internet companies is a very serious step for the UK to take. There are myriad legal, technical and practical issues to reconcile before this can be considered a proportionate and necessary public policy option.  In some cases, these may never be reconciled. These issues have not even been considered in this case.
The Lords have been thoughtful in their consideration of the Bill to date.  It is therefore bitterly disappointing that the House has allowed an amendment with obvious shortcomings to proceed without challenging its proponents to consider and address the full consequences.  Put simply, blocking access as envisaged by this clause would both widely disrupt the Internet in the UK and elsewhere, threatening freedom of speech and the open Internet, without reducing copyright infringement as intended. To rush through such a controversial proposal at the tail end of a Parliament, without any kind of consultation with consumers or industry, is very poor law making.
We are particularly concerned that a measure of this kind as a general purpose policy could have an adverse impact on the reputation of the UK as a place to do online business and conflict with the broader objectives of Digital Britain.  This debate has created a tension between specific interest groups and the bigger prize of promoting a policy framework that supports our digital economy and appropriately balances rights and responsibilities.  All parties should take steps to safeguard this prize and place it at the heart of public policy in this area.
Yours sincerely,
Richard Allan, Director of Policy EU, Facebook
Neil Berkett, Chief Executive, Virgin Media
Matt Brittin, Managing Director, Google UK and Ireland
Charles Dunstone, Chairman, Talk Talk Group
Jessica Hendrie-Liaño, Chair, Internet Services Providers Association (ISPA)
Jill Johnstone, International Director, Consumer Focus
Jim Killock, Executive Director, Open Rights Group
Mark Lewis, Managing Director, eBay UK Ltd
Ian Livingstone, Chief Executive, BT Group
Professor Sarah Oates, University of Glasgow
Dr Jenny Pickerill, University of Leicester
Mark Rabe, Managing Director, Yahoo! UK and Ireland
Dr Paul Reilly, University of Leicester
Jess Search, Founder, Shooting People independent film makers
Professor Ian Walden, Queen Mary, University of London
Tom Watson MP