A parliamentary committee is reportedly set to investigate “scare ads” created by the UK government’s shadowy ‘behavioural insights’ team to “nudge” the public into obeying Covid-19 restrictions. The move comes amid concerns about the “grossly unethical” use of the unit to “inflate fear levels.”
The signatories reportedly criticized the use of dramatic adverts featuring slogans such as “If you go out you can spread it, people will die.” One such ad had a close-up photo of an intensive-care patient wearing an oxygen mask, with the caption: “Look her in the eyes and tell her you never bend the rules.”
The use of “images of the acutely unwell in intensive care units” and the “macabre mono focus on the number of Covid-19 deaths without mention of mortality from other causes” were also said to have been condemned by the group, which warned of unintended consequences.
“Shaming and scapegoating have emboldened some people to harass those unable or unwilling to wear a face covering,” they reportedly wrote, adding that the “inflated fear levels” and “strategically-increased anxieties” had “[discouraged] many from seeking help for other illnesses.”