BACC bars War on Want TV spot

A commercial by a national charity that compares currency speculators to vultures tearing flesh from a carcass has been barred from TV.

The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre will not allow the War on Want ad promoting a controversial solution to the debt problems of the world's poorest countries on air because it is deemed too political.

Instead, PHD, which is buying media for the 60-second spot produced by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, will divert the entire budget to cinema, where the campaign will break later this month.

The actor Ewan McGregor has recorded a voiceover while Radiohead's Street Spirit provides the soundtrack for the film featuring vultures swarming over a dead animal.

The ad is part of War on Want's campaign to persuade national governments to adopt the so-called Tobin tax.

The scheme was proposed by Yale University's Nobel prize-winning economist James Tobin in 1978 and envisages a levy on turnover in the currency markets that could be redistributed to developing countries to fund education, environmental protection and medicines.

The idea has been gaining ground among groups such as War on Want, which see it as a rallying call after what has been only modest success in the campaign for the cancellation of Third World debt.

But critics of the tax claim it is unfeasible. In the UK, where London is regarded as the largest global centre in the $1 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market, Treasury chiefs are unenthusiastic.

The ad was written by Tony Strong and art directed by Mike Durban.

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