Trump lends a little hand….

This is a beautifully cheeky advertising campaign for the Women’s Equality Party. THeir new ‘thanks’ Trump protest campaign was their defiant answer to the American president’s controversial UK visit.

Satirical ads “thanked” Donald Trump for his contributions to the cause of women’s rights, with slogans such as “Thank you Trump – for giving feminism a little hand.” The timing of this campaign could not have been better and struck the right tone in galvanising supporters in the fight against misogyny. Plus, it did so with a sense of humour – a powerful tool to unite people and a much-needed antidote in yet another week clouded by political turmoil. I hope at least a few Trump supporters got the message.

Client: Catherine Smith, head of campaigns
Agency: Now
Creatives: Laura Muse, Amelia Wood, Steph Ellis, Rory Hall, Sarah Levitt, Clint Harding and Juliet Kent

Thank you Trump


Spare some change guv?

Saying hello to the new quid on the block

The new design £1 coin was introduced in the UK today. Already many charities are using the #PoundforPound hashtag to invite supporters and the public to donate the new pound or indeed the ‘old’ pound.

It is a significant opportunity. The Institute of Fundraising thinks it isn’t small change – it claims that the switchover could raise up to £21 million for charity!

Here are some of the different approaches taken to this unusual fundraising opportunity.

1. Putting a value on (28) £1 coins

Macmillan Cancer describes the new coin by numbers. And points out that 28 of these coins could pay for one hour of care from a Macmillan nurse.

Thames Hospice have done something similar:

2. Promote Gift Aid and make your £1 go further

Rhythmix Music have used the new £1 design to update the popular image depicting how much extra a £1 is worth if given using Gift Aid.

3. Donate the old coins too while you can

St Joseph’s Hospice is inviting the public to donate the ‘old’ £1 coins, before they are withdrawn from circulation. They are just as valuable of course.

4. Donate new and old £1 coins

St Luke’s Hospice is covering its bets, asking for donations of the new and old £1 coin.

5. Make the most of the transition

Not all retailers can accept the new £1 coin in all their devices. That’s a lot of people with an extra £1 coin in their hands which they could donate to charity.

6. Make the most of an existing £1 appeal

If you’ve got a £1-focused appeal running, you’ve timed it well. Human Appeal are linking the new £1 coin to their Purple Pound scheme.

7. Corporate fundraising

There are plenty of shops that have the word ‘Pound’ in their name or focus on selling items at £1. How they can be involved in this opportunity?

8. Picture this

We might know what the new £1 coin looks like, but what does its impact on your charity look like?

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust didn’t have access to the new coins yesterday when it posted this, but it’s a good image, encouraging you to donate perhaps not £1 but many.

9. Text £1

It’s 2017 and cash isn’t the king or queen it once was. So St Margaret’s Hospice is encouraging us to donate £1 by text. They’ll never know if it was a new or old £1, but they won’t mind.

10. Moving pictures

Given there are 160,000+ charities in England and Wales alone who could be asking for donations of the new £1 coin, how might your charity stand out? A video is certainly a good choice, so here is Action for Children’s.

And here is the NSPCC’s.

11. Save your £1?

There could be an argument for saving your 2017 new £1 coin, given that coin collectors might, in future years, pay more for one. Certainly charities overseas have noticed the new currency.

That said, a £1 donated now to a charity is probably a better investment.

12. Update your collecting boxes

If you have collecting boxes, flag up the opportunities of the new £1 coin. The Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museums are doing just that.


Can you introduce humour into promoting the new pound coin? Here’s HM Treasury’s attempt, featuring its resident cat Gladstone, apparently.

Source: UK Fundraising

Map of renter’s rights in Europe

Clever and informative.

Compared to the UK, the majority of renters across Europe get a much better deal from their tenancy, especially when it comes to protection from eviction.

In England renters have just six months protection from a no-fault eviction. So even if you’re a model tenant you have little security, making it difficult to plan for the future.

See how the UK compares to the rest of Europe, by tapping this interactive map.



A house full of elephants?

So, the UK has joined the bombing-fest in Syria. “About time” I hear some say. But I think there is an elephant in the room. Well, actually, it looks like there is a whole house full of elephants. I’ll mention some, but I’m sure I could keep adding to the list. maybe you have some suggestions?

Elephant in the living room… Saudi Arabia

Did you know that Saudi Arabia remains the only state recognised by the international community that came into existence as the direct result of armed expansion by Islamic radicals?

With that kind of background, is it any surprise that there are plenty of stories suggesting that Saudi Arabia helped Isis take-over the north of the country.

Elephant in the lounge… Turkey

So, who are the bravest of all the fighters in Syria? Why, it’s the pluck Kurds. They fought bravely (with some help from US bombings – which goes to prove that boots on the ground are needed) and have pushed back Daesh from the northern border, regaining their territory.

You’d think that everybody would thank them, right? Wrong. Instead, our allies in this mess, the Turks, are now bombing the Kurds. It seems the Kurds were born to be betrayed. Almost every would-be Middle East statelet was promised freedom after the First World War, and the Kurds even sent a delegation to Versailles to ask for a nation and safe borders. Without luck.

Now, it probably doesn’t come that much as a surprise that the Turks are bombing the Kurds. They’ve been at it ofr decades. But, there might be a little more to it than that…

Elephant in the closet… Oil

Isis controls most of Syria’s oil fields and crude is the militant group’s biggest single source of revenue. But who buys the oil from them?

And then there is the other story nobody wants to talk about… While many media outlets talk about this, it never featured in the bombing debate here in the UK. Namely that one person in particular is making money out of the Daesh oil: Bilal Erdogan, the son of Turkey’s President. But in addition to son Bilal’s illegal and lucrative oil trading for ISIS, Sümeyye Erdogan, the daughter of the Turkish President apparently runs a secret hospital camp inside Turkey just over the Syrian border. For who? Certainly not the Kurds…

Elephant in the kitchen… Iraq

In the UK bombing debate we were told that we’re already bombing in Iraq because the government asked for help, so what difference would bombing in Syria make. What wasn’t mentioned is what put the Iraqi government into this current predicament – which is that it is Shia dominated, and aims to dominate the Sunis. What do unhappy Sunis do? They join the fight against their government.

Powerful regional tribes such as the Shammar and Anezah, faced with countless dead and persecuted members in both Syria and Iraq, banded together with former Iraqi and Syrian military officers, embracing Isis jihadis as their frontline shock troops. Cash poured in from sympathetic donors around the region.

Elephant in the bedroom… Effectiveness

The US has been bombing Daesh since September 2014. What are the results? It doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference. Sure, they got Jihad Jonny and a few other people, but fighting Daesh is a bit like playing the Whack-a-mole game. You smash them here and there, and they pop up somewhere else.

The only place where it did work was, as mentioned earlier, in support of the Kurds. There bombing worked because it was in support of ground troops.

Beyond powerful bombing runs which do kill civilians, the Russian assaults are conducted by helicopter gunships flying between 50 and 150 metres above the ground. Something they obviously learnt during their years of being bogged down in Afghanistan. That’s the only reliable way you can pinpoint your target.

Elephant in the bedroom…  Libya

Ah yes. Of course, David Cameron bombed that too.

And as in Syria, ISIS have been building a stronghold in Sirte – situated near key oilfields. Out of all papers to talk about this new threat, it is the Daily Mail that is talking sense. The number of fighter is still small, around 800, but once access to Syria gets shut down, volunteers will no doubt start flooding into Libya too. And from there will keep seeping over to Egypt, Mali and other Islamic countries. Will we need to go back and wack-a-mole bomb these countries too?

Elephant in the bedroom…  Co-ordination

And last, but not least, I am curious about this most mysterious aspect: who is coordinating all these bombings? There hasn’t been any announcement of an official air-strike HQ, or has there? The assumption is that its the USA, using the NATO framework, that is supplying the targets for French and UK bombers, and Assad supplies the targets for the Russians.

But, this lack of an official command structure for the allies sort of reflects the lack of long-term thinking when it comes to these air strikes. Without it you wont be able to question generals on how they are planning to win this conflict, or if there are any plans about ground troops, let alone those pesky questions about the Saudis or Turkey. It all has to go through politicians who sold us this war in the first place.

And now that bombing has been approved here in the UK, the public will not be asked again about what happens in our name.

Might be time for us to go and hide in the cellar?

The cover photo, by the way, is from the film Apocalypse Now, beach scene. “Napalm in the monring… to me it smells like victory.”

Political branding: the Labour Party leadership logos 2015

The challenge here comes from Benedict Pringle, who’s excellent blog about political campaigning in the UK is drawing attention to the dire state of affairs when it comes to logo designs for the Labour Party leadership election campaign. As Benedict says:

“The candidates for the Labour Party leadership campaign are now locked down and final.

As ever, I’m interested in the most seemingly trivial part of the battle: what their logos look like.

Getting your logo right isn’t going to win you the election, but it’s a useful thing to get right. It’s a consciously developed identity that will exist across all the materials that are being designed to help your candidate win office. It’s a useful visual short cut for the values and persona of the candidate that is comprised of colours, strap lines and design features.

When well-designed and implemented they create a consistent identity that helps build familiarity with an electorate which facilitates feelings of trust and loyalty.

A good logo is concise, differentiating from the competition and authentic to the candidate.”

Read the full blog post and view examples of the sad affair of the Labour Party leader logos on his website.

In the meantime, as an exercise in upping the game, here are two ideas that came to me. I’m sure I’ll add some more if I have ideas/time to work on it sometime. They might not be masterpieces, but hey, what do you want from a lunch break’s worth of work?

Jeremy Corbyn election logo idea

Yvette Cooper's Labour Party leadership election logo idea, based on the ballot box that party members will have to tick

A promising process of osmosis picks up speed

Britain’s changing face

This is a highly interesting article about the ethnic diversity of the UK, and how it will develop over the next 15 years. Try and toggle between the two dates in the interactive graphic. You’ll be quite surprised. What impact might this have on your job, business etc? Bear in mind though that this does focus on a selection of council wards, and is not representative of all the UK.

Britain is becoming less segregated. The 2011 census showed that ethnic minorities were moving out of big cities, making smaller towns and suburbs less white. Beyond the hyper-diverse capital there are now three “plural cities”—Luton, Leicester and Slough—where no single ethnic group makes up more than half the population. A new analysis of the census by Stephen Jivraj and Ludi Simpson at Manchester University shows that across the country, ethnic groups are starting to mix more evenly.

In the ten years from 2001, the authors found, all but one of the 407 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales became more ethnically diverse, according to an index they constructed to measure the local representation of each of the 13 main ethnic groups that are recorded in the census. One reason is that London, once the main landing pad for new immigrants, has become unaffordable. Migrants used to congregate in London boroughs where housing was cheap, such as Croydon, Southwark and Newham. But now even the poorest London neighbourhoods are pricey. In 1995 houses in Newham cost 17% more than the national average; now they cost 33% more.

Read the full article on the Economist website.