Politicians and The Sun newspaper

Why were our most powerful politicians all photographed with The Sun?

The Sun logoI spent much of yesterday feeling by turn outraged and disturbed. The cause of my distress? The triptych on my TV screen of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband holding up The Sun newspaper.

It reminded me of the slightly grotesque product placement scenes in The Truman Show; actors smiling at the camera and holding the product up for all to see.

The Sun is a commercial product, and this was product placement in an extreme form: simultaneously the Prime Mininster, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition (and even the Mayor of London) all endorsing the same product. This is an extraordinary marketing coup.

Photo by Monika Flueckinger, World Economic Forum

Rupert Murdoch

How did The Sun pull it off?

Usually, companies pay for product placement. No money will have changed hands, but make no mistake, this is a transaction, and there is no longer any room for doubt about who is running our politicians.

Anyone wondering why voters don’t bother turning out for elections, just look again at the triptych and realise that the man at the top is not even on the ballot paper.

And to rub salt into this gaping wound, these politicians were endorsing a paper which has blighted the lives of two significant sections of the population.

If the politicians gave any thought to the families and friends of the Hillsborough victims, who still boycott The Sun after its insulting reporting of the tragedy, then they hid it well.

If they gave any thought to the 195,000 women and men who have signed the No More Page 3 petition to the editor of The Sun asking for images of bare-breasted womento be taken out of the paper, because of the insidious effect this has daily on thousands of women and young girls, then they hid that well too.

But let’s hope that away from the cameras, they reflect and whole-heartedly get behind the No More Page 3 campaign. Those of us bringing up teenage girls in today’s Britain need their support more than the England football team.