Past the sell-by date

Posted by @ 3:41 pm on Monday 9th July, 2012.

You've probably seen this ad on yer telly:

 

 

If so, you might have wondered what it's all about.

On the face of it, it's an ad about how National Lottery funding has helped one K. Edwards to represent GB in the 2012 Olympics as an 800m runner. It's oddly anachronistic and we still can't figure out why her mum looks so old at the end of it, but I suppose that only the nit-picking few would be bothered by that.

Of course, K. Edwards doesn't really exist. The ad is based on the story of Team GB athlete Jenny Meadows and her mother Barbara, who was also an athlete, but unable to compete in the Olympics because of a lack of funding. The Meadows are played by actors and the story is narrated by the mother, looking back at their lives.

Here are a couple of clickable quotes from the world of the meeja:

The National Lottery is launching the second phase of its "life-changing" campaign with an execution highlighting its funding of Great Britain's athletes and London 2012.

The National Lottery is repositioning itself as a "genuine supporter" of London 2012 and is rolling out an ad campaign to highlight the £2.2bn it has contributed to the Games.

The ad was first aired on June 11th, is still on the box today and is scheduled to run until July 13th.

Admirable stuff.

Until you consider the fact that on July 3rd Jenny Meadows was omitted from Team GB...

Jenny Meadows was struggling to come to terms with the mixed emotions of being crowned European Indoor 800 metres champion and omitted from the British Olympic team for a home Games on the same day...

Selectors gambled by picking Lynsey Sharp for the 800m despite her recording only a B qualifying time this season. The selection of the European silver medallist meant four other athletes who have run faster times in the past two years, including the 2009 world bronze medallist Jenny Meadows, missed out and two places went unfilled under International Association of Athletics Federations rules. UK Athletics' head coach, Charles van Commenee, has said he will take ultimate responsibility and fall on his sword if his 77-strong team fail to meet expectations at the London Olympics.

So, lots of funding yet no possibility of an 800m result for Jenny Meadows. Or for Marilyn Okoro, Emma Jackson and Jemma Simpson.

Surely the National Lottery folks should stop peddling this ad. It has become so detached from reality that it could be considered a lie.

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2 Responses to “Past the sell-by date”

  1. J75J says:

    Good advert but how about Mary Rand who won Britain's first ever female track and field gold in 1964 without lottery funding ?

  2. BG! says:

    Good question, makes you wonder how they managed before funding and how effective the Lottery's funding has been.

    A quick look-up on the web reveals the following GB medal haul distribution, on the assumption that lottery funding started soon after the first lottery draw in November 1994:

    22 x Summer Games (1896 - 1992) - unfunded - 167 Gold, 215 Silver, 213 Bronze
    4 x Summer Games (1996 - 2008) - funded - 40 Gold, 40 Silver, 40 Bronze

    18 x Winter Games (1924 - 1994) - unfunded - 7 Gold, 2 Silver, 8 Bronze
    4 x Winter Games (1998 - 2010) - funded - 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze

    Analyse that however you want 🙂

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