back to article Gov spunks hundreds of thousands on mobe condom clip

Much backslapping at the Department for Children, Schools and Families whose safe-sex mobile phone drama, Thmbnls, has been shortlisted for a Meffy (Mobile Entertainment Award). It ought to be gong-worthy, given the series is costing the UK taxpayer more than fifty quid per viewer. The department has spent 4.6 million nicker …


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  1. michael

    I wander

    if it had been a xxx rated series how many subscribers they would have gotten?

    rule of early adopters

  2. Anonymous Coward

    50 quid a viewer?

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to just send every teenager in the country a gross of condoms every few months?

  3. NB
    Thumb Down


    can we have a facepalm/``oh dear god what are those fucking muppets wasting our money on this time?'' icon? Please? Pretty please?

  4. Phil

    Wrong approach

    When I was a teenager in the eighties, rather than all this cool, sexy targetted advertising, we had the AIDS campaign: HAVE SEX AND YOU WILL DIE!!!

    There's probably some figures somewhere, but I wonder which is the more effective? All I know about the latest campaign is that I'd quite like one of those Gonorrhea necklaces :)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ha ha ha

    I never even knew it existed.

    Now that I do, I'll bet it's embarassingly bad.

    Well done to the government for pouring cash down the drain. Maybe this was an MPs way of getting the safe sex message to his kid? He wouldn't be able to put it on expenses, now would he?

  6. Les Matthew

    "Want respect - don't piss away money on Web 2.0 rubbish"

    Shouldn't that be:

    Want respect - don't spunk away money on Web 2.0 rubbish?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Free Condoms

    Why is it that young people have to buy condoms? Or have to sign up to "anonymous" schemes that only need your name address and dob (Oh so anonymous)

    Its damn embarrasing for a young person to go to shop/chemist to buy them. Damn goverments

  8. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    All that money wasted...

    All that money wasted... and still not as good as this one:

  9. jason

    I've seen several of these....

    ....shown on TV in advert breaks. So I guess not all of the spend (ahem) was just for the mobile side?

    Hasnt anyone else seen them?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm sure that a government Minister will be along shortly to tell us that anyone who questions the benefit / return of the campaign is siding with the Tories to make cuts in "essential public services".

  11. Frank

    @zerofool2005 re. Free Condoms

    AFAIK, you can get free condoms from your local Family Planning clinic. As for age, that never stopped under 18s from obtaining alcohol.........

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    o crap the internet - heres everything we have just leave us alone

    It seems that when the internet or technology is involved the government reacts in a fashion not dissimilar to the victim of an armed robbery, throwing all his valuables on the ground and legging it in the opposite direction.

    "It's going to be on THE INTERNET? Here's a few million just don't tell anyone I was involved" *cowers under table*

    When the NT logon screen comes up and says "press Ctrl-Alt-Delete to logon" I bet they respond "Okay don't kill me"


  13. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Why the surprise?

    The Government's well known for pissing money on the wall.

    The Government's known to be the largest advertising spender in the country.

    Why is the fact that the Government's pissing advertising money on the wall such a shock?

    The only astonishing thing here is that 5000 people took a vague interest in what is, effectively, a multi part "Government information film" (showing my age). Ah! Distributed via ArseBook and Tw@tter. Now I understand. Given a massive audience of people with absolutely no life at all they only managed to get a "meh" or better out of 5000. Problem solved.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    oh come on... 4.6million?

    That's pennys. Sony spent 30 million on their Bravia adverts. If these adverts save even just a few hundred child pregnancies which the state ends up not paying for it will probably have made a considerable amount of the money back!

  15. Andrew Culpeck
    Thumb Down

    Do we want lower teen prgnancies ?

    Three questions

    1. What country in the world has the lowest teen pregnancies?

    2. How do they achieve this?

    3. How much will it cost to copy this?

    Job done.

    Well this campaign is Obviously doing appallingly so they have put it up for an award to show how marvellous it is!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Easier solution than pissing away money on crap like this

    Just stop benefits to chavs for them having children. Stops them reproducing more effectively, while saving money...

  17. Neil

    Wasted money

    Would have been cheaper to send them all chastity belts and bonjella.

  18. Daniel Wilkie

    @Free Condoms

    I used to like going to buy them. I only used to make them into balloons and stuff but it made me feel like a rock star anyway, and nobody else ever knew they weren't getting used.

    Well not till now anyway - where's that facepalm smilie?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I work with people dealing with teenage pregnancy and sex ed. None of them knew about this either.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5000 or 30?

    The story says the thing has 5000 "subscribers" and that episodes "average about 30 viewings". Can you explain how those numbers are reconciled? I mean, 4.5e6 / 5000 = £50 as you say, but 4.5e6 / 30 is an even more ridiculous amount - enough to buy each viewer a HOUSE in some parts of the country.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now really, Reg

    The term "spends" is perfectly good indecent English. It shouldn't take an American AC to tell you that.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    keeping shoreditch nu meeja twats in charly

    ...producing all this flashy nanny state nonsense.

    Although nice to see that our molly codling public sector overlords are doing their bit to keep recession from the door of web2.0 with all this fluffy semi-harrasment.

  23. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Want to stop teenage pregnancy?

    "Preventing teenage pregnancies is an important thing, and government money can be well spent that way.."

    There's a simple answer.

    Put the Government/Civil Service in charge of all teenage sex. Let them organise brothels, a 'date and screw' service, and provide free two-hour bedroom bookings in unused council houses.

    I guarantee that, within 6 months, we'll have the lowest teenage pregnancy rate in the world, a generation of 30-year-old virgins, a plummeting population and nursery schools going out of business...

  24. Tony

    NSFW - or those of a sensitive disposition

    I have an answer to reducing teenage pregnacies. It's quite cheap as well; just £1:20 a pop.

    You take two standard house bricks, one horny young male, place the bricks either side of his genitals then bring them sharply togther.

    Doesn't it hurt? Only if you catch your fingers!

    When I was at school, we had 2 lessons in the first year to tell us that rabbits do it, 2 lessons in the fith year to suggest that (whisper this) some married humans might consider doing it once a year in the bedroom, (with the lights off of course) and then 2 lessons in the sixth form to highlight what bits would drop off if we did do it.

  25. Bill Ray (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: 5000 or 30?

    5054 subscribed to have episodes pushed to their mobile phone every Friday (and I was one of those, so call it 5,053) - the episodes where then uploaded to YouTube where they garnered about 30 viewings each.

    Hope that's clear.


  26. michael

    just a question

    but how meny teens are unaware of where childern come from?

    what exactley is this campain trying to teach them?

    do not make me watch it to find out

  27. Mike

    £250k sounds like a lot


    If it saves one life (out of the 5,000) then it's cheap (HIV/HPV)

    If it stops a handful of teenage/schoolchild pregnancies then it's cheap

    Don't forget it's all about raising awareness, if each of the 5,000 has raised awareness that they share with just one partner (not in the 5,000) then that's 10,000 and so on, I'm not sure how the £50 a head compares with the cost of MMR/HPV vaxine.

    OK, not a roaring success but way off being a failure.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Andrew Culpeck

    I think the Vatican City has the lowest rate of teen pregnancies. They seem to take quite the opposite view on condoms come to think of it. I don't know how much money it would cost to turn the UK into the Vatican, but whoever built the Trafford Centre seemed to be along the right lines.

  29. michael

    @mark johnson

    I would be sceptial about them having the lowest rate there are not meny teens in Vatican city

  30. Alan Parsons

    stand up stand up

    Can't u just do it standing up? 's gravity, innit?

  31. peter garner
    Dead Vulture

    Gawd, they missed the point *again*

    I just registered so that'll bring the price down a bit.. Of course, what they totally fail to realise ("age" on the signup form) that although the legal age is 16, there are shedloads of under-16s having sex and getting up the duff on a regular basis. There are many reasons for this but surely the most recent one is it's now one of the few ways of getting on the property ladder!

  32. dingus Hussey

    nice logo...

    I'm only going to comment on the logo, I was quite deeply involved in this particular piece of art, and I can assure everyone, bored enough to have got this deep into the comments, that I'm not the one running off with all the fact I didn't even get half the fee paid for the completion and usage of the finished artwork. another company who cocked the job up, took about two thirds of the overall spend and then my agent took 20% +VAT I think I made somewhere in the region of £3500 before paying my agent (£820) and the tax man... my overall profit was £1876, for this i produced three initial versions, and reworked the final version about six times, including hand lettering each version and producing stencil versions, all of this was done throughout the Christmas holidays. Added to this I believe the final agreement meant that I had to surrender all the rights ito the artwork indefinitely... Interesting when it's broken down exactly where the money goes... So to be honest I find it interesting to hear exactly how much companies are spending on the finished products and who gets the cash.

  33. Alan Esworthy


    Do the math:

    # of teens who already know about condoms

    - # of teens who don't know but are too stupid to learn

    - # of teens who don't know and don't give a rat's ass



  34. J

    @Mark Johnson

    Well, given they seem to prefer little boys, no wonder...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    they ran a site takeover on as well. It had quite a few more hit's than stated, I should know I used to own it :)

  36. Anonymous Coward

    The only question most teens have about sex... can I get more of it.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh hello Marcus. :) Good idea in theory all this advertising, bad idea in practice.

  38. Anonymous Coward


    You *subscribed* to receive this ? Oh hang on, you were just doing it for the journalism angle weren't you ...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great logo...

    A condom pulled over the end of a sharp pointy arrow...

  40. Anonymous Coward


    @Mark Johnson posted > I think the Vatican City has the lowest rate of teen pregnancies.

    Only because little boys can't get pregnant....

  41. James Pickett


    If it's any consolation, the logo is about the only worthwhile element.

    'The government says' and 'good idea' are oxymoronic, but the only people who don't know that are the government...

  42. Anonymous Coward

    "Meffy" ... WTF?!

    Looks like Nathan Barley and his cohorts are alive and well.

    More's the pity.

    Mine's the one with the Wasp T-12 Speechtool in the pocket.

  43. Ray


    - dingus gives money to tax man

    - tax man gives money to gov

    - gov gives money to agency

    - agency gives money to dingus

    - dingus gives money to tax man

    wash, rinse, repeat. pretty sweet deal the tax man has going, there.

  44. Anonymous Coward


    why dont we just start shooting teenagers who get pregnant, and the guy who did the deed. that will end it pretty fucking quickly eh?

  45. Darren Barratt
    Gates Horns

    The eugenic solution

    1 chemical in all clothing from JJB sports, another chemical in all Greggs produce. If you eat a steak bake whilest wearing a tracksuit you get sterilesd for a month.

    That way, all the charvers could rut away with their cousins to their hearts content without dirtying up the genepool.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    £50 per head?

    £50 per head?

    most teenagers give it away for a few lagers!

  47. Allan Dyer

    mobe condom clip?

    OK, I can see it's useful to store condoms with your mobile, but the design does seem a tad expensive, and isn't it more of a phone accessory, not a Gov. project?

    Oh, you mean video clip? That would be really stupid - whoever heard of a successful Gov. information video?

  48. william henderson


    the most effective way of stopping kids getting pregnant would be: A) mandatory prosecution of all those under age. B) stop paying them benefits and C) stop giving them houses.

  49. John Smith Gold badge

    Interesting class comments

    Like middle class children never get pregnant. Of course Mummy and Daddy can sort out either a nice discrete abortion. Or hire a nanny to take care of the little rug rat.

    But note

    We *do* have the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe (AFAIK. The EU is a lot bigger than it was so some squalid corner of the former Eastern Block may be worse) and the Netherlands was the lowest. IIRC the age of consent there (*between* minors) is 12. They accept relatively young children do have sex with each other.

    I went to a good school. My Sex Ed. classes were pretty good. God knows what would have happened if it had been left in the hands of my parents.

    However there is the fact that quite a lot of girls *like* the idea of being pregnant. They like the respect of being a parent (they have no real idea what it means as they have probably never had a proper parent), the chance of their own home and to be treated better as the have a child to look after.

  50. Mark Harburn


    meh whose that? lol To be fair a lot of effort and money went into that takeover and quite a few people saw it, you have to admit...

  51. James Prior

    Do we really want to stop these pregnancies?

    We already have an ageing population (not enough youngsters to pay taxes by the time I'm old enough to need a pension) so do we really want to reduce the number of births even more?

  52. Jules

    The BBC have picked up this story.

    Of course they present it as their own research with no attribution.

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