All in the database

What’s creepier in this TV Licensing advert – the authoritarian insistence of the message that we’re all being watched for our own good, or its soft underbelly – the complete and unremitting faith in “the database”, in yielding awe of its panopticon abilities?

Addendum: And I say this as someone who is quite fond of public service broadcasting, just not how it’s enforced…

6 thoughts on “All in the database

  1. I thought much the same when I saw it for the first time earlier this evening. The great, infallible database says you have a TV – so pay up!

    The last place I lived at, their supposedly perfect database claimed my new-build flat didn’t exist.

  2. I think it’s scary because they’re trying to scare you – listen to that background music. I don’t think anyone’s going to watch that and think Hurrah for TV Licensing, saving us from evil freeloaders!

    TV Licensing’s a private company, by the way – it’s one of the few non-state agencies empowered to take people to court (the RSPCA’s another).

  3. The BBC, TV Licensing and Capita Group are all scabby companies but what makes me smile at these adverts is the fact the the general public are too docile to do anything other than pay.

    There are many campaign websites on the internet, I run a couple myself, what we need to do is group everybody together who objects and the just stop paying.


    You Tube:


    My Space:

  4. I got rid of my telly – but ended up having to get a license to get them off my back because in the small print they state that you have to have a one if you own a computer or a mobile phone!!!!!….. That’ll be why EVERYONE in the country is on their sodding database.

  5. The thing that really struck me is that it’ll mean nothing to anyone who hasn’t seen the inside of a computer, thus negating the impact somewhat. I imagine there’s going to be a lot of people just wondering why they’ve used such a strange looking urban landscape.

  6. When I moved into my current flat I got a TV licence reminder. In between legal threats it informed me that “Officers from our Enforcement Division catch 80,698 people every year”, which struck me as remarkably consistent.

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