‘Off the map’ Scottish isles force VisitBritain to axe ads

shetland-isles-2388498_1920The Government has been forced to axe a VisitBritain campaign running in UK airports, designed to promote the country to international travellers, after Shetland and Orkney were knocked off the map.

Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael, who has represented Shetland and Orkney since 2001, branded the omission “insulting”, and rifled off a complaint to Cabinet Minister Steve Barclay demanding that the isles be included.

The GREAT advertising campaign was originally devised by M&C Saatchi and designed to encourage travellers to Britain and Northern Ireland. Last year, VisitBritain appointed MSQ to the global digital integrated brief.

However, it is not known which agency was ultimately responsible for ditching Shetland and Orkney, even though the Isle of Man, which is not part of the UK, was included.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson told The Shetland Times the campaign has now been “discontinued” and the image “should have been removed some time ago”. They added: “We have spoken to our colleagues at airports across the country to make sure it is no longer in use.

“The GREAT campaign is committed to showcasing all four nations, including the Northern Isles, and our current campaigns make sure that is the case.”

The Cabinet Office claims that all media space across airports was provided “at no cost to the taxpayer”.

The issue is a long standing one. Back in 2018, a new law was passed preventing Shetland from being boxed on official maps.

The Shetland mapping requirement section of the Islands (Scotland) Act stipulates the islands “must be displayed in a manner that accurately and proportionately represents their geographical location in relation to the rest of Scotland”.

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