This ‘banned’ advert for the BBC’s coverage of the Six Nations rugby in 2012 has been doing the rounds on social media, as we count down to the 2015 tournament. The BBC shelved the ad at the time after deciding that it was unbalanced, but it has subsequently been leaked by some at BT Sport.
Stuff like this does the rounds among media folk all the time – every journalist know loads of dirt on celebrities, politicians and sportspeople that goes unreported because it’s salacious, unproven or impossible to report for various other reasons – so it’s little surprise that it’s emerged. Still, it’s a little eat-cake-have-cake for the BBC, it can disclaim any resulting opprobrium and enjoy the publicity.
The fact that it was apparently shelved shows the tightrope the BBC obviously feels it has to walk these days, under attack from all sides and assailed by the PR machine of its economic rivals, steadily wearing down the Beeb with a drip-drip of licence-fee whinging. It’s a far cry from being at the cutting edge of satire in the 60s and devastating documentaries in the 80s. If a public-funded broadcaster can’t ruffle a few feathers then who can?
Anyway, this is very well-conceived and well-made – the idea that national sport is as much about who you don’t want to win as who you do is hardly controversial. If the last 12 months has shown us anything, it’s that England has little to commend it to the other host nations.