The chief executive of BASC, John Swift, has written to the chief executive of Barnardos asking him to personally intervene in the row over the charities latest campaign video.
On Monday, Barnardos issued a statement saying they did not intend to offend those involved in sporting shooting with the portrayal of ‘hunters’ in their film. But Barnardos declined to add this statement to their own website or to remove the film, which has caused widespread anger amongst the shooting community.
Below is the full text of the letter, which was both faxed and posted to Barnardos. So far there has been no response from the charity:
Mr M Narey
Tanners Lane, Barkingside
Ilford, Essex, IG6 1QG
18th November 2008
Dear Mr Narey,
I am writing formally following a telephone call I received just now from your Assistant Director of Communications. She telephoned me after I had sought to speak with you earlier this morning about Barnardo’s failing to remove its deeply offensive video clip from your website.
It strikes me as deplorable that having accepted in discussion with our Communications people yesterday that deep offence was being caused to country people, and having given an apology of sorts, that Barnardo’s should proceed in the error of its ways.
Your Assistant Director of Communications sought to justify the conduct of Barnardo’s by saying that Barnardo’s did not intend to cause offence and that you had received a positive response. She sought to reassure me that next week your message would change and that this somehow justified the continuing cause of offence?
It is deeply irresponsible of Barnardo’s to portray country people as likely to go out and shoot children. It is even more reprehensible, having had the error of judgement drawn to your attention, to continue showing the material.
Expecting a Communications team to change tack in a media campaign is a tall order and it will require firm direction from your level. I ask you please to recognise the mistake that has been made and to remove this material from your website immediately.
I have no doubt that this matter will be taken up at a high level. We have no wish to damage the fundraising that is essential for the care of children in need. We simply expect that your decision making is reviewed and the offending material removed. Ends do not justify means; two wrongs do not make a right.
With kind regards.