Picture the View

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One of the arduous tasks we all have to endure when returning from a break is to catch up on correspondence. So imagine our delight when wading through the bills and flyers that had landed on our doormat during our absence that we found a copy of Wirral View.

As this is only the second copy we have received of this elusive publication since its launch we decided to wait a week , give the publication the attention it deserves and review the latest edition of Wirral View whilst we were perusing the Sunday papers in the Leaky Towers morning room or what we are now calling in the modern vernacular , the ‘Information Hub’ .

Needless to say we weren’t impressed. But then we never were. We had high hopes that Wirral View would provide us with  ‘endless opportunities for satire ‘ . But the man behind the hapless project – Wirral Council’s head of communications Kevin ‘Lost Boy’ MacCallum is absolutely right when he says we haven’t ‘delivered’ on this pledge mainly because it’s the dreariest thing we’ve ever read and we can’t even work up enough enthusiasm to mock it.

Communication with Kev

Communicating with Kev – Continued

However we do note that the latest edition is already now down to 24 pages (from the original 32)  and we note that it consists of  more pictures than words. Not including the Wirral councillors mugshots we lost count at 80 pictures . The front page (see above) is indicative of the content within. It reminds us of the song lyric – “let’s go through the book of life , you can just look at the pictures if you like”  .   Her Ladyship quips that it would appear that Wirral View now has more fillers than Katie Price !

It seems to us that  Wirral Council think the collective readership of Wirral View has an ‘Attention Deficit Disorder’ and need to be distracted at regular intervals by pretty pictures (or in some cases – not so pretty).

For example on page 8 there is a FULL PAGE encouraging us to, er, take a walk in the park and yet another half a page on 16 telling us to do the same – it’s just such a shame there is nearly another full page on page 23 which gives notices of parking charges in Wirral’s parks , thereby discouraging ‘one of the easiest ways to get active, lose weight and be healthier’. As ever with Wirral Council , it’s a case of left hand meet right hand.

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We are left wondering just how the business case to set up Wirral View is stacking up. With just one (half page) advertisement from Goodwin’s restaurant in Greasby it’s no wonder another half page is used to flog advertising space with the questionable claim that “Wirral View is a monthly publication distributed FREE to every home and business in Wirral”

Two things  –  firstly ,Wirral View ain’t free , it costs Wirral council taxpayers at least £270K per annum and it needs to be asked as to whether those council taxpayers should be promoting  private businesses and secondly somebody needs to report Wirral Council to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)  if they cannot  provide evidence that Wirral View  is indeed distributed to every home and business in Wirral.

As far as we’re concerned this claim is all my arse and talking of which His Lordship must apologise but he has to be off to the Leaky Towers  ‘Slash & Dump Hub’.

Warped View

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Just arrived in our inbox has been information about how to advertise in a new publication what we thought was called called ‘Wirral View’.

http://wirralview.com/wirral-view-advertising

“Not another local paper in the wake of the Council’s ‘Wirral Today’”  we thought to ourselves and then we looked a little closer and saw that the contact email address was  wtads@wirral.gov.uk

We presumed wtads is an acronym for Wirral Today advertising and Wirral View is the advertising arm of the operation or have Wirral Council hit upon a third title for their tawdry rag after Wirral Life and Wirral Today ?.   So although , curiously , the Wirral Council logo is nowhere to be seen Wirral View would appear to be the accompanying website and advertising arm of Wirral Today .

However astonishingly the blurb on the website states  :

“Wirral Council is looking at ways to raise income in order to sustain its services…….”

Two words come to mind when we read this : JUDICIAL REVIEW

We say this because we’ve all been led to believe that the rationale and justification for Wirral Today or whatever the newspaper is called was to communicate with the poor folk of Wirral who don’t receive the Wirral Globe, Wirral News, don’t buy the Liverpool Echo , don’t have access to the internet and are absolutely bursting with excitement at the prospect about hearing how wonderful Wirral Council  and its partners are. Who knows if they’re really lucky there might even be a word search and as IPSOS Mori identified that the Council were failing to connect with young women in particular there might even be a feature on Justin Bieber!.

We have often asked ourselves how they intended to fill 24 pages with self-promoting puff pieces and then we read that there are special mate’s rates – so no doubt we’ll reading how wonderful the Wirral Chamber of Commerce is as well.

Click to access Wirral%20View%20non-recruitment%20advertising%20rate%20card.pdf

Wirral View’s advertising policy states that all adverts must adhere to the codes of conduct laid down by the Advertising Standards Authority. This includes the requirement that marketing communications must be legal,decent, honest and truthful !.

We’re left wondering whether these standards will apply to the news content!. As this is a Wirral Council publication we won’t hold our breath!.

We also note that the first edition was due to be distributed from 17th October . As we haven’t received a copy at Leaky Towers and neither have our many sources we await the forthcoming edition of Wirral Today scheduled for 14th November.

Whilst we are looking forward to the first edition ,mainly due to the endless opportunities it will provide for satire , we can’t help shaking our head in wonderment at the warped view of Wirral Council who seem to  have forgotten they are a local authority with particular statutory responsibilities……and running a newspaper business isn’t one of them!.