Government adverts encouraging artists and performers to retrain have backfired in spectacular fashion as social media users remake the “Fatima” ad to feature leading Downing Street figures.
The ads were widely criticised online for featuring a ballet dancer lacing her shoes with the caption “Fatima’s next job should be in cyber (she just doesn’t know it yet)” followed by “Rethink. Reskill. Reboot”.
I don't know if the government know they appear to have recently created a "Hopes & Dreams Crushing Department", but for a country already depressed and anxious, I would suggest it's a bit of a "Not now, dudes" moment? https://t.co/UA6vJavKCz
— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) October 12, 2020
The Fatima ad arrived days after Chancellor Rishi Sunak denied suggesting people in the arts should retrain and were attributed to “CyberFirst”, a programme from the National Cyber Security Centre aiming to encourage young people into tech jobs, and to “HM Government”.
Musician Goldie, writer Caitlin Moran and actor James McAvoy were among thousands who criticised the ads before they were scrapped by Number 10. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden described them as “crass” and a Downing Street spokesperson told the BBC they were “not appropriate”.
But that hasn’t stopped dozens of digital designers using their art skills to turn the posters back on the Government.