Un-spice your life

// 21 November 2007

Have you seen the Spice Girls’ new single? Called Headlines (Friendship Never Ends) (no, really), it was exclusively launched by the BBC to promote its annual Children in Need Appeal night. The programme, which aired on Friday, included a performance of the song by the group ‘especially for BBC Children in Need viewers’ and proceeded to raise a record £19m.

In the charity’s words:

Our mission is to positively change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK. Our vision is a society where each and every child and young person is supported to realise their potential.

Keeping that info to the fore of your mind, do consider viewing the video. But before you do, take this simple quiz to see if you too could be an unscrupulous charity promoter for your next job:

  1. Is there a way to demonstrate that the Spice Girls care about children in need within the video?
  2. If no, how can each Spice Girl’s Unique Selling Point (marketing jargon!) be used to maximise donations from people who don’t necessarily care about children in need but who do like to watch the Spice Girls ‘perform’?
  3. If yes, is there a way to ensure that no actual children, whether or not in need, see the video?
  4. If no, and recognising that we won’t change the content of the video because answer to question 2 was ‘yes’, how can we make sure we earn money from anyone who views the video?

I know the Spice Girls are keen to make a come-back, and that the video will probably sell a lot of albums, which in turn will mean the charity will receive lots of money. I still think it’s inappropriate for the BBC to use a pornographic video – by its own definition – as its flagship Appeal piece to raise money that is supposed to be helping children. It might be that someone from the BBC agreed the deed before having seen the video. But then that’s what you get for being opportunistic.

Photo by Rev Dan Catt, shared under a Creative Commons license

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