A season for strange telly ads

Is anyone else bothered by those ads for the Referendum Commission? They pride themselves on being independent and interested only in informing us on the Lisbon treaty, but I find myself wondering if this is entirely true. The points they chose to exemplify in the ads seem to specifically counter claims made by the No side.

I suppose it could be argued that they are obliged to make particular reference to the No side’s claims, as they have been the chief instigators of mistruths in this debate. I’ve certainly been making similar claims here. However, I don’t this a reasonable explanation for these ads. The purpose of the commission is to serve as a resource for people seeking accurate information. If they’re taking it upon themselves chase down perceived untruths, then in naturally follows they have an agenda.

There’s also the downright strange role played by the commission last year. I recall some higher-up claiming they were free to take a side should one camp start taking the piss. In once sense this might be reasonable, but it hardly speaks well of their claim to be independent. I was told too of a press conference they held where one journalist asked a particularly challenging question, and they didn’t have a clue. They spent a good ten minute desperately leafing through books and leaflets. “It was a joy to behold,” was how the journalist who told me about it described it.

I’m not accusing anyone of being biased here. I’m just saying it all seems a bit odd to me. This aside, you know what other ad is bothering me? That Cadbury’s one with the giant anthropomorphised cocoa bean, with its distinctly Africanised features. Now perhaps I’m being over-sensitive, but it seems to me that they’ve gotten a bunch of dancing, slack-jawed black people and stuck them on my telly, seemingly with the expectation that I’d be ok with laughing at them.

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