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Voteman: when an engagement attempt goes very wrong

Voteman: when engagement goes badly wrong

May 15, 2014

Engagement comes in all shapes and sizes.

Employee. Customer. Client. Employer – the list goes on. And, as an established communications agency, Headlines sees the benefits of engagement across the board.

But, when attempts to engage a target audience miss the mark, it can go horribly wrong. Just ask the Danish government.

According to The Guardian, the Danish government launched a new cartoon to encourage younger people to visit the ballot box for the European elections on May 25.

Named Voteman, the animated beefcake is depicted having sex and being violent as he rages over failing to vote at a previous election.

Predictably, it didn’t take too long before the complaints came in. It was pulled from Youtube and Facebook a day after launch.

Wonder what all the fuss was about? See below.

Mogens Lykketoft, the speaker of the Danish parliament, or Folketinget, said: “Many people whose opinions I deeply respect have perceived the cartoon from the EU information centre as far more serious and offensive than it was intended, and believe it talks down to young people.

“I acknowledge that in the future Folketinget as an institution has to show more caution in terms of what we put our name to.”

We’ve all been there. Some ideas work, some don’t. However, how this suggestion ever moved further than the creative brainstorm drawing board is beyond me.

Four words. What were you thinking?