The contract of advertising agency Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy with the Metropolitan Police Service expires at the end of March.
They are being replaced by Gordon Brown's favourite ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, who gave him "Design services" during his Labour party leadership non-election "coronation" campaign.
ABV BBDO have also been awarded the lucrative Home Office ID Cards propaganda account.
Presumably Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy are at least partly to blame for the current Metropolitan Police Service anti-terrorism advertising campaign launched today.
This campaign includes this false and misleading poster, which claims a non existent link between public CCTV and protection against terrorist bombs:
"A bomb won't go off here because weeks before a shopper reported someone studying the CCTV cameras"
There is no evidence that any Islamic extremist or Irish terrorists or Animal Rights extremists or neo-Nazi extremists, who have exploded, or tried to explode bombs, or set off incendiary devices, have been deterred from doing so by the presence of CCTV cameras. Some may have been tracked down partially through the help of CCTV footage, after their attacks or attempted attacks, but that is not what this poster is implying.
There is no evidence that any of them who have actually had access to any explosives, have ever been caught in the act of "terrorist reconnaissance" of CCTV cameras, neither by members of the public (which is what this poster misleadingly claims), nor by regular Police street patrols, nor even by any covert surveillance of known suspects.
Since you do not need any equipment to check out where public CCTV cameras are, just your eyes and your memory, it is unlikely that any real terrorism or criminal reconnaissance of CCTV camera systems will ever be detected in the way that this poster implies.
This poster is just Climate of Fear propaganda, and it will no doubt be used to justify the harassment of photographers taking photos, perfectly legally in public places, which have been infested with CCTV spy cameras, something for which there is plenty of evidence for.
See Matt Wardman's Official Harassment of Photographers in the UK: I have a Little List
We are reporting this misleading poster to the Advertising Standards Authority, and urge you all to do the same.
David Mery rightly points out that this re-run of previous Climate of Fear campaigns is likely to lead to lots of False Positive denunciations of innocent people
Considering how bad trained police officers are at spotting terrorists, asking untrained people to attempt to do the same will end up creating more suspicion of anyone behaving a bit differently. This will obviously target those who have different customs and those who are afflicted by some illness, fuelling further discrimination. These campaigns also focus on common objects, recently photographers have been particularly targeted. Looking at our environment, be it buildings or CCTV surrounding us, - hostile reconnaissance as it is called by the police - is a cause for arrest but so far has not been a cause for any conviction.
UPDATE: 25th March 2009
The Advertising Standards Authority has decided to pass on the complaint about this poster to the Independent Advertising Standards Council for their consideration,