Tag Archives: Propoganda


Freedom of Information documents obtained by Ken Foxe relating to the documentary The Story of Water, produced by Irish Water

Ken Foxe writes:

The brand of Irish Water had been “badly damaged” and continually “politicised” and the level of public trust & confidence in the company was low, according to creative brief for €800,000 TV documentary ‘The Story of Water‘ that they planned to produce.

Budget for the project had originally allowed for a spend of up to €2million.

This included €942,000 for the documentary itself, which proved cheaper to make (see below).

Also included is a fee for either RTÉ or Virgin to broadcast it … this ended up costing just €1.

This was not “about politics”, “charges or meters”, the brief stated, but instead about ‘educating the Irish public about the size & scale of problems facing Ireland’s water network’.

The documentary was to follow Irish Water’s ‘Tone of Voice’: this being ‘honest and respectful, clear and straight talking, approachable and reliable, experienced and professional’.

The target audience was broken up into four key demographics: advocates, supporters, dissenters and detractors.

Public trust and confidence in Irish Water was tracking at 44%. There was a very low awareness of size and scale of issues faced. And there was a low openness to hearing about future plans & work

The board of Irish Water were told it was time to “shape the conversation” and “move it away from bills and meters”.

The Documentary would help “bust” the ‘fairy story that surrounds Ireland’s water supply and the idea that it is endless’.

The documentary ended up costing just over €800,000, about €137k below the production budget “due to efficiencies”.

Seven in ten people who watched it felt “more confident that Irish Water have projects and plans … underway to address the issues raised”

Good times.

The Story Of Water (Irish Water)

Right To Know

Ken Foxe

Steve White writes:

On December 12 last, James Lawless Fianna Fáil TD  initiated a bill related to online advertising and multiple accounts transparency

The Online Advertising and Social Media (Transparency) Bill 2017 stipulates that online political advertising shall not be paid for from monies provided out of the Central Fund or the growing produce thereof or from monies voted by the Oireachtas.

On December 12, 2017 Mr Lawless held a press conference with Niamh Smith TD in which  he said,

“we haven’t yet seen any Independent ministers featuring in the adverts, which I think is interesting”

Meanwhile, during the a debate on the bill in the Dáil on December 13, , Fianna Fáil member Thomas Byrne said:

“Deputy Lawless’s Bill seeks to target bots, which I have dealt with in what I have already said, but also the strategic communications unit, which is an absolute disgrace. Let us be clear that the Minister, Deputy Naughten, is not getting a slice of the advertising pie because he is not in Fine Gael.

The broad shoulders of Fine Gael have elbowed into all these paid ads. The latest one, promoting Deputy Leo Varadkar and Deputy Paschal Donohoe in his own constituency, had 400,000 viewers and was paid for entirely by all the taxpayers of Ireland. This is wrong and should be illegal.

I have already put it to my party that we should introduce legislation to ban any Oireachtas Member from appearing in paid advertising by Government Departments unless it is required by law, such as in the case of a signature on an official order.

I refer primarily to Ministers because they are the only ones to have done this so far. It is utterly wrong and disgraceful that the €5 million from the strategic communications unit, SCU, is being turned into paid Facebook ads for Fine Gael and the Minister, Deputy Naughten, should be clear that they are only for Fine Gael Members.

While Dublin traffic was at a standstill on Monday morning because of the Luas works, a Facebook video promoting Deputies Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe and the Luas was on air for well over 24 hours.”

Why doesn’t Mr Bynre mention Independent TD and Minister for Transport Shane Ross who is also in the video?

Or that The Rugby World Cup bid ad, produced by the Strategic Communications Unit and can be viewed here, features Mr Ross prominently.

Thomas Byrne must have seen this ad as he asked a parliamentary Question about it on 28th November 2017.

I asked them both multiple times about this and they won’t reply.

If you were going to criticise the Strategic Communication Unit in the midst of an anti-fake news bill would you not want to do it on an accurate basis?
Anyone?