A pretty bizarre article in the FT today (and the EU Referendum blog) alerts us to the EU's new propaganda campaign for the European Parliament elections. Encouraging turnout is one thing - but, as usual, this is far more to do with trying to promote the whole idea of the EU. And at enormous cost to the taxpayer.
For €28 million, the European Parliament has hired ad agency Scholz and Friends European Agenda , to run
"a series of 3D installations. The larger than life sculptures will draw the public´s attention to the 2009 European Elections and illustrate different aspects of the voters’ influence on tangible political decisions that result from their participation. Interactive multimedia boxes invite the EU citizens to cast their personal wishes for Europe as a video message. Together with ten billboard motives, the 3D installations and the multimedia boxes show that Europeans have a choice and the chance to participate in the EU's decision making – emphasized by the claim "It's your choice!"
Plus some weird enormous billboards like the chickens above.
As if we needed any more evidence of the EU institutions being completely out of touch with the real world - here we have some of the best yet. In the middle of dire economic circumstances, with jobs, pensions and savings all going down the bog the good old EP sees fit to lavish millions on what this ad agency boasts is: "for sure Europe’s most complex communication campaign ever."
Great. Will it have any impact at all on turnout? It strikes us that a far cheaper option to energise voters and get them going would be to remind them about the referendum they never got on the Lisbon Treaty - and the efforts to bully Ireland into voting again.