Established to… shamelessly use “aid” for publicity?

This article was originally posted as a facebook note and written by Joseph Seliong. It has been reproduced here with kind permission of the author.

Here’s a photo I found on the hornet subnetwork. Sorry, I did more burrowing through the university’s network—you never know what you might just find!

This photo disgusts me. Why go around helping people, then build a MASSIVE sign saying “Proudly donated by…”?

It’s not as if they’re advertising to the local community: “Hey, come to Manchester, we’ve got a new university! And oh, you’d be hit by high international fees, say £9000 or so a year.”

Let’s face it, they’re so poor that they need extra funding for a water storage tank. How can they possibly afford to go to a university in a country with a very high cost of living? That rules out the notion that the university is advertising to the local community.

So why do it? Why put up a huge sign, when they could have chosen to remain anonymous, or perhaps put up a less glaring sign (which would probably cost much less to print and build)?

The only possible explanation is that this is a publicity stunt. A golden photo opportunity. Is our university is so obsessed with branding, publicity, the media, and glossy publications that they are willing to stoop this low for that extra bit of media coverage?

One would wonder who they are trying to impress, because this photo literally screams: “Look! We’ve donated a water storage tank to a poor community! Come study in our university! Invest in us! We’re oh-so-noble and kind!”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the university was wrong to help the less fortunate, but by taking advantage of their “donation” and erecting that huge sign, one would certainly question the motive behind that donation.

A close-up, in case you can’t see it!

UPDATE: I found the video:

http://www.foodoncampus.manchester.ac.uk/ethicsandsustainability/ethics/

Look out for the sentence: The advertising on top of the pump provides funds to maintain the pump.

Bollocks to that. The only advertiser on that pump is the university (as seen in the photo). Are they saying that they need to advertise to the local community just so that they’d give the community more money to maintain the pump? Can they not give money without putting the signs up? After all, who are they really advertising to? Certainly not the local community. The only way that advertising will work is via the pictures and their publicity website trumpeting the fact that the university helped them.

View more pictures here:

http://www.foodoncampus.manchester.ac.uk/ethicsandsustainability/ethics/pictures/#nogo

So what now?

I’ve helpfully corrected their advert:


This is how the poster should be. Edited in Adobe Photoshop. The previous 2 photographs were genuine.

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