/ 8 October 2013

Your Tuesday laugh: #ProudlyBroughtByANC falls flat

Jackson Mthembu.
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, who is responsible for GCIS. (Gallo)

It's election season, which means our dominant political parties are outdoing themselves on competing publicity even before our electoral commission declared "ready, set, go". 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) kicked off the fun and games with an initially anonymous billboard alongside the controversial e-tolling gantries, declaring it the work of the ANC.

"E-tolls. Proudly brought to you by the ANC," read the huge billboards with zero insignia that had South Africans mystified for whole minutes at a time. The Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) was adamant it wasn't their doing and indeed, why would it be, given they were the only ones still trying to go about about this whole thing in a dignified manner via the courts?

The DA, meanwhile, in a move disturbingly akin to watching your grandmother flirt, were coy on the matter. 

It didn't last long though, and on Sunday the opposition party gleefully owned up to it. The ANC were miffed even though, as marketing analyst Chris Moerdyk pointed out, they should logically be proud of the billboards if it was their decision. However, the whole thing has been hugely controversial and unpopular, so the ruling party don't want it anywhere near their election campaigning. 

But they're probably still trying to figure out whether they should complain via the Independent Electoral Commission or the Advertising Standards Authority. In the meantime, their inimitable spokesperson Jackson Mthembu started a Twitter campaign #ProudlyBroughtByANC that, the lack of a definite article notwithstanding, sang the praises of the liberation movement. 

And so on and so forth. The rest of Twitter's reaction was to hijack the hashtag and turn it around. Obvs. So now, trending on the platform is a list of the ANC-led government's failures. Ouch. 


ANC: 0. Twitter: 1. DA? We're not sure yet. As Moerdyk pointed out, it is unlikely to capture votes for the DA. "Everybody is talking about it but the DA is preaching to the converted. It is annoying to the ANC supporters."