Home Office’s Go Home campaign being investigated
Much as we predicted an ad campaign featuring the slogan ‘Go Home’ and asking people to ‘Text Home to 78070′ has being dragged into a racism row. The campaign is being run by the UK government’s Home Office. A Home Office spokesman is quoted by Daily Mirror here as saying, “We can confirm we are in contact with the ASA [Advertising Standards Authority] over this investigation and we will respond in due course.” The newspaper reports that the ASA has received 60 complaints so far.
As we explained in our original story – Mobile industry blasé about data security issues’, this whole thing could turn very nasty indeed.
SMS service provider BCH Digital and its client – an unnamed information provider, could find themselves accused of purveying racist messages.
After our original story, GoMo News was contacted by a spokesperson for BCH Digital who confirmed that it was the SMS aggregator involved.
The company is more of a specialist in IVR (Interactive Voice Response) which is interesting. Confidentiality clause (which are standard practice) prevented BCH from revealing its client, of course.
If you text Home to 78070, you receive a message offering a free telephone call back in either English or Punjabi depending on your next text reply.
Should you not respond, the service calls you anyway.
GoMo News still hasn’t discovered who BCH Digital’s client is or, more interestingly, who is responsible for creating the ad campaign.
We’d suggest that a better wording than “Go home or face arrest” would have been “Fear arrest? Get home free.”
The whole issue could explode because UK Cabinet [government] minister Eric Pickles has said that the ad vans which were initially trialled in London could be used nationwide.
Good News for BCH Digital and the call centre agents, then.