Government Minister criticises ‘crass’ advertising campaign

Government minister criticises ‘crass’ advertising campaign suggesting a ballet dancer could ‘reboot’ their career and move into IT.

PART of the Government’s Cyber First campaign, the advert features a female dancer tying up her ballet pumps alongside the caption: “Fatima’s next job could be in cyber. (she just doesn’t know it yet).”

It adds the slogan: “Rethink. Reskill. Reboot.”

It’s part of a wider campaign which features a number of people from various professions.

In a tweet yesterday, culture secretary Oliver Dowden expressed regret about the advert and said the campaign was not “something from @DCMS” (UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) and agreed it was ‘crass.’

He said it was a “partner campaign” encouraging people from all works of life to think about a career in cyber security”, adding: “I want to save jobs in the arts which is why we are investing £1.57bn.”

Critics include Savage Garden singer, Darren Hayes, who captioned a picture of the young ballierina with the comment: “Stick with your dreams, don’t listen to this s**t campaign written by people who, when not working, turn to the arts – music, tv, film, theater, dance, photography, etc etc for joy. Making joy is our job. Reboot your terrible advertisement.”

Shadow mental health minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan also tweeted: “Fatima, you be you. Don’t let anyone else tell you that you aren’t good enough because you don’t conform to their preconceived social norms.”

While comedy writer, James Felton, wrote: “Well this is f*****g soul crushing”, alongside a photograph of the young ballerina.

He added: “This is Fatima, she loves to dance. She should get behind a f******g desk”.

The arts and culture industry contributes more than £10 billion a year to the UK economy, according to Arts Council England.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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