Monday 12 November 2012

The Curious Case Of The Non-Existent Post Cards

I am regularly astounded by the eagle eyes possessed by fellow jewel thieves, and here is a perfect example.

If you don't follow me on Twitter, you may have missed that Bray Leino - the advertising agency employed by Smokefree South West with your taxes - won an award last week for the plain packaging campaign billboards. Here's a picture of it - well worth £468,000 of your money, doncha think?

The company was also mentioned in a document recently published by the Department of Health. To be precise, it was an e-mail sent by them detailing the number of signatures they had collected in support of the idea.

If you click to enlarge the screen grab above, it states that NHS Dudley had delivered - directly - 3,711 postcards to the consultation. Bray Leino were very clear about this, adding that Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation had conducted "separate campaigns" which were "not part of the submissions mentioned above".

This was apparently news to NHS Dudley who had no knowledge of it, according to a response to a fellow jewel robber's FOI response.
How many signatures did Dudley NHS send to the Department of Health? 
It is not possible to provide this as NHS Dudley promoted individuals and organisations to support the plain packaging campaign. It was up to them to voluntarily sign up electronically or by post. 
How, where, and by whom were the postcards distributed? 
Dudley NHS worked in partnership with Cancer Research who distributed postcards at community events during May-July 2012. 
Who designed the postcards? What costs were associated with this activity? 
Cancer Research designed the postcards. Cannot comment on costs. 
Were the costs paid for from Dudley NHS budgets? If not, who provided the funds? 
No. Cancer research provided the funds. 
Please provide an image of the front and back of the postcards that were used for the campaign. 
You would need to approach cancer research for this.
How odd! It would seem, then, that someone has been providing information which is 100% wrong.

Your guess is as good as mine who it might be seeing as these inconsistencies seem to crop up quite often when it comes to tobacco control's desperate truth-avoidance exercise in the plain packs debate. It is, however, something further to note while we eagerly anticipate the already overdue DoH whitewash statement on the consultation.

In the meantime, I'm sure you will be as interested as me in knowing where the aforementioned Bray Leino award will be publicly displayed - in a polished glass cabinet with attractive lighting, natch - so that we who paid for it may view it in all its glory.

With a price tag of nearly half a mill, it's surely a precious national treasure, isn't it?  

H/T Mr AT by e-mail

1 comment:

Lysistrata Eleftheria said...

Odd indeed, DP. But not unexpected or unusual.

People lie to protect their jobs and families, or to satisfy their bosses, and to appear to meet their contracted targets. I'm not saying this is so in the case you write about.

It strikes me that this disingenuous method of reporting results is pretty typical across the board nowadays whether it's care of the elderly or mending railways. People are desperate to retain contracts and to obtain grants.

The concept of setting 'quality standards' in areas far outside measurable practical applications (engineering, textile manufacturing, food safety) has now infected the UK's entire way of running things to a degree which is seriously harmful. And bonkers. And burdensome. And doesn't work. As you know from running your own business.

And no-one ever really checks up on whether the ticky boxes tell the truth.

Except you and people like you. Continuing to expose the lies and the selected statistics and the blind adherence to the latest cult is a great service that you in particular, and other bloggers do. It's about far more than smoking or drinking or public health.

It's to do with the heart of the way we are governed and administered. And something has gone very very wrong. David Dimbleby had a little to say about this on the R4 Today programme this morning.