back to article Home Office gets another ad agency for ID cards

The Identity and Passport Office has appointed another advertising agency to persuade the public of the apparent benefits of ID cards. The IPS has chosen Proximity after also hearing pitches from EHS Brann, Tequila and TMW. The firm will deal with "below the line" marketing - typically PR and promotions rather than billboard …


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  1. Richard IV
    Big Brother

    What kind of promotions?

    Identity Cards: Buy one, get one free!

  2. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

    This would be the same Proximity

    that is responsible for the design of the threatening letters sent by the TV Licensing people, so look forward to getting repeat junk mail through your post box telling you that you haven't got an ID card, so they'll be sending an 'Enforcement Officer' round really soon. You will receive these letters continuously whether or not you already have a valid ID card, and even if you don't actually own an ID. No wait, I've stretched that metaphor too far...

    Having worked in the past with these particular failmonkeys, I fully expect a nauseating onslaught of whalesong-induced nonsense non-stop on my TV any time now. Of course the important question that nobody seems to be asking is: If the populous WANTS these cards, as a string of home secretaries has been intently telling us, then why do we need our taxes to be spent on telling us that we want them, and that they are good, which is allegedly what we already think? Another superb piece of New Labour double-think if you ask me.

    I have to go now, there are some men here to take me off to 'the Ministry of Love'...

  3. The Vociferous Time Waster

    for everything else there's marketing

    If people need it they'll buy it or buy into it, for everything else there's marketing.

    It shows how incredibly sh!t the ID cards idea is if they have to pay a bunch of turd polishers to market ID cards to foreigners; if they want to come and live here they should bl00dy well just do as they are told and carry a card.

    Or not because it's an aforementioned sh!t idea anyway.

  4. The Original Ash
    Thumb Down

    I have an idea...

    GIVE UP.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Supermarket Passports

    I have an idea for an advert.

    You show a happy tourist boarding his holiday jet and handing over his passport.... Caption: "Passports let you travelto sunny Spain to drink Sangria"..

    Switch to a man walking down the high street, handing his ID card to a supermarket checkout woman, "ID cards let you stay in Britain and buy Sangria".

    Then close with a random threat, "Get and ID card or we'll TASER your mother".

    It needs a little polish, but it's about the same standard as other adverts.

  6. Paul Hates Handles

    Fuck's sake

    How about not wasting money, admitting it's a fucking shit idea and getting on with sitting on their arses?

  7. Scuby

    Newsflash: Bank of England prints water soluble bank notes

    And how much is this going to cost the taxpayer? Talk about throwing money down the drain.

    Or maybe it's just another way of hiding their expenses?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    oh nice

    so these fuckers are, in total, leaching about £1,000,000,000,000 between them of tax payers money from a govt with no real electoral mandate...

    Fuck me what a waste.

    Fire, cos that's what we need to kill them with.

    Could we possibly have a ``nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure'' icon?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tell you what ...

    Lets find out who the other clients are of these ad agencies and boycott their products. ...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Home Office gets another ad agency for ID cards

    In other words, they are spending our money to try and convince us of the need to spend even more of our money on something that we really don't want or need...

  11. Andrew Culpeck

    New Labour

    ... if it is unwanted unuseble and no use, then waist more money on the advertising.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Cheaper alternatives

    It's a free market... if someone's shelling out that much just to generate demand, seems like now would be a good time to introduce a bit of competition to the market. Peferrably it would be a scheme that undercuts the state's and provides some actual security too.

    I reckon that if a scheme designed primarily to target the current suggested purposes - i.e. verify the owner's age for alcohol purchases, and verify the owner is permitted entry to a particular place, and can be demonstrated to perform that function cheaply and reliably then it'll be a winner with many potential folk.

    So here's my thought - an item the user physically possesses which is essentially a blank canvas, but with two methods to interact with it. The challenger has to have provable authority to test a particular assertion (e.g. owner is over 18). The owner then has to approve the challenge, (e.g. by knowing a secret code, or even through a *shudder* hashable biometric). Item then responds to challenger, positive or negative.

    This item could be a key to a rotten, expensive third-party database, or a cheap or even free gadget just for performing the hashing functions. I think the reg has already suggested using mobile phones in the past. That's got to be the winner. Everyone's got one so there's zero outlay for hardware. It has the processor for doing the hashes - screen and keypad for interacting with both parties - non-volatile memory for storing the credentials - even a camera for inputing the challenges via QR codes.

    So when the user wants starts interacting with a new body of challengers (e.g. licensing authority of a particular county council), he presents his phone (or whatever form it physically takes) to them, and they add whatever credentials they deem they want to be able to verify. It's up to each body to determine the veracity of the information at the point/time of adding them, but after that they're set in stone.

    Acme company provides hashing software for the phones for a nominal fee - via a chaged text message even, and software for generating the encrypted credentials, and printing QR codes for the individual challengers. Then it rides the wave of public demand generously created by the state's advertising campaign and makes lots of sales, thus profit!

  13. Professor Quatermass

    Boycott all agencies that contribute to this infernal scheme!

    Clearly, the next step in this affair is to organise a boycott of ANY and ALL organisations that accept our government's money to implement this infernal scheme.

  14. Graham Marsden


    ... just how much more of our money is the Government going to piss away on their Quixotic desire to convince us that they can be trusted with all our information and ID and that we're not going to have to carry a card to show we have their permission to walk down the street?


  15. Fractured Cell


    Are they never going to let this go?


    *Testiculates with arms wildly*

    I swear, if I hear another thing about them trying to reinstate this heap of sewage, i will go stir crazy. And not in a good way.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Hang on...(!!!)

    Wasn't this mothballed not so long ago???

    WTF are they doing resurrecting it???

    "New Labour, New Danger" .... How true...

    Suck on this, because I'm sure my view accounts for nothing in this country..

  17. dunncha

    One silk purse on its way

    because you can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear and we are the Ad agency to prove it.

    Pay us a load of millions to perform this minor miracle and then when the Tories get into power they can just cancel it and we still get paid.


    Shouty Shouty because we want you to Roll Up Roll Up for the greatest ID Card ever. It gets you into pubs and nightclubs and and costs £60. Thank you!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    three or four year contract?

    You've got to admire such determination in the face of electoral defeat.

    Oh and Ed BlackShaw, it's populace.

  19. Mike Richards

    Oooh please sir, please sir!!!!

    Change one word from the current TV Licensing advert so it's now

    'YOU'RE in the database'

    That'll be ten million quid, a Lear Jet full of hookers and a bin bag of the finest Bolivian please.

  20. Intractable Potsherd
    Thumb Up

    "Testiculates" ...

    ... in the first post - brilliant!! I know it was an easily made typo, but it may well become a new word, meaning something like "over-selling something that is total bollocks", or "waving ones balls around to cover up the insanity of the underlying argument". I look forward to further development on this word, and to its inclusion into El Reg's lexicon ...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    The End

    You can tell we're pretty much at The End of All Things when government has to resort to cajoling it's populace to accept stuff by making it sound cool/useful/easy to use/range of attractive colours rather than the more traditional methods:

    a) Doing it because they wanted it (democracy)

    b) Forcing them to take it at gunpoint/threat of gang rape (the others inc monarchy and pseudo democracy)

    What the fuck next? A free set of smoothie glasses with every card, take 5 and get a smoothie maker too? "Buy ID, we plant a tree"? Or perhaps "God kills a kitten every time you diss our New Age ID project"?

    Pig/lipstick - and I'm not talking Jacqui Smith on a Saturday night.

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