The Department for Work and Pensions has a new monstrous yet cuddly mascot, in an ad campaign that cost £8.54 million. Iain Duncan Smith has spent this money on an ad campaign featuring a giant fluffy monster – as his department makes savage cuts to disability benefit. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched the bizarre new ad campaign featuring the character, known as Workie.
‘Workie’, as the ‘Gruppet’ (to coin a phrase) is called, made his television debut on ITV yesterday during a commercial break. He is supposedly there to promote the rights of workers to workplace pensions. Workie, with his tiny horns, his eye-twisting multi-coloured fur, and his smile-addicted mouth too high up his face, is described as the “striking physical embodiment of the workplace pension”. The advertising campaign is aimed at small employers and employees.
— Dave Russell (@daverussell) October 22, 2015
If I said IDS & DWP had spent £8.5m on a fluffy monster called 'Workie' you would guess I had made the story up https://t.co/LDCQde4YxB
— Tony Smith ACIH (@hotpixUK) October 21, 2015
I really am not making this up. Possibly Iain Duncan-Smith is interpreting the term ‘small employers’ in a physical/age-group sense, which would not rank very highly on his list of foolish mistakes, but the position that the DWP is taking is that there is a ‘serious message’ behind this. Why they were unable just to write that message instead of assuming the message needed to be infantilised?
The advert shows ‘Workie’ being ignored by members of the public. The message being that workplace pensions shouldn’t be ignored. The campaign cost £8.54 million to put together (or approximately 33,900 single allowances of universal credit for under 25s), so we can expect to see a lot more tweets like the one below if the DWP is going to get value for money.
— DWP Press Office (@dwppressoffice) October 21, 2015
Mr Duncan Smith has been tasked with slashing the welfare bill, axing vital help for disabled people, reducing the welfare cap and banning young people from claiming housing benefit. In June, the Work and Pensions Secretary choked off government cash for the Independent Living Fund (ILF), which helped 18,000 disabled people live at home instead of in care homes. The slight difficulty with IDS’s madcap and inept schemes which have caused great hardship to the disabled and vulnerable is the benefits cuts have saved no net amount of money at all – a truly impressive non-achievement even by Iain Duncan Smith’s consistent record of failure over many years.
— #DontIgnoreIt (@DWP) October 21, 2015
We can laugh at this absurd “Workie” display – as indeed many are on the Twitter hashtag #WorkieTwerks – but the ‘serious’ side of it is that many more people will learn just what an insulting view this high-handed, blunder-prone Government has of them, and that they join the campaign to put an end to Tory misrule for good.
— This beautiful land (@canvascomfort) October 22, 2015
To see the monster mash here is the video, seeing is disbelieving:
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