In recent weeks, two advertising spots funded by the Spanish Government have been aired in Spain with improper messages. The Ministry of Equality was responsible for the first commercial and the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 for the second. Both portfolios are headed by female ministers from Podemos, the minority partner in the Spanish Government.
Both ads target Spanish citizens in a surrealistic way. The one for Equality, on the other hand, focuses its criticism on famous people from the Spanish cultural industry; while the one for Social Rights targets fathers, while emphasizing the stereotype of the white, wealthy and irresponsible parent.
The Ministry of Equality accuses celebrities of being sex offenders
The campaign of the Ministry of Equality, led by Irene Montero, was titled #EntoncesQuien. Its main objective was to point out behaviors supposedly typical of sexual aggressors with which Spanish society, believe the Ministry, is familiar.
Thus, the first target of the ad was the YouTuber known as “El Xokas”. This, a few months ago, joked that a friend of his did not consume alcohol at parties to keep his sanity and be able to meet more girls. The Ministry of Equality has now elevated this anecdote to the category of misogynist behavior. Spaniards are used to the Ministry of Equality dictating to them the ideal way in which they should behave. What is extraordinary about this ad is how a branch of the Spanish executive personalizes an ad for any citizen to identify “sexual aggressors”.
“El Xokas” is less famous than Pablo Motos, the host of El Hormiguero, against whom Igualdad also charges. The TV presenter has been leading prime time audiences every day for more than a decade. Thousands of interviewees have passed through the set of El Hormiguero. In the ad, Igualdad uses an actor who looks like Pablo Motos and shows him asking an intimate question to the guest on the set. All the details of the ad are carefully thought out so that the audience understands the reference to Pablo Motos.
The ad does not leave no stone unturned and concludes with images similar to those of the Elías Ahuja high school video that went viral in Spain a few months ago. The entire political class was mobilized, even President Sanchez himself took a position on the matter, for a video in which a group of young people from the college fulfilled an annual tradition typical of their place of residence. The controversy reached an unprecedented level in the media and the authorities decided to ignore the young women who were supposedly the recipients of the messages.
The detail of the ad is so meticulous because the Ministry of Equality has hired a specialized company. Ogilvy is an advertising and marketing agency that charges more than one million euros a year to make all the ads for Irene Montero’s ministry. Only the design of this campaign has cost a total of 247,000 euros. To this amount must be added 2.5 million euros that Igualdad has invested in its insertion in the media. In total, the campaign exceeded 2.7 million euros.
And its consequences have been devastating for both “El Xokas” and Pablo Motos, who have had to face, since the ad was made public, a disproportionate media campaign that reflects the Leviathan that a State can become by making an excessively ideological use of public resources.
Social Rights charges wealthy white families for scolding their children
The Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, also led by a Podemos minister, has joined the populist drift of charging from the institutions against the citizen they represent.
In this case it is not a campaign against public and notorious figures. But it is paradoxical to see how a government so insistent on cultural and gender diversity allocates public resources for an advertisement exclusively for white and apparently wealthy parents. Why are parents from culturally and sexually diverse families not included in this advertisement? Because the objective is to project that the parent who abuses his or her children has the following characteristics: Spanish, white, wealthy and with no respect for his or her children.
As it happened a few weeks before with the Ministry of Equality, the Ministry of Social Rights has allocated a public money item to confront parents and children of a very specific condition. So far in the 21st century, Spaniards have never experienced an attempt of intimidation by the State like the one we are living nowadays.