Did Vodafone topple Mubarak in Egypt? Maybe they did...
To some, Vodafone are a mobile telecommunications company. To others, they’re a pack of duplicitous twatbaskets. Perhaps the truth is somewhere in between. Actually they’re probably just twatbaskets – twatbaskets who managed to duck out of paying a £7 billion UK tax bill.
Vodafone aren’t exactly flavour of the month in Egypt at the moment either. They’ve just put out a self-congratulatory advert that seems to suggest that their ‘Our Power’ promotional campaign from January played a HUGE part in the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak a few weeks later, with Facebook and Twitter posts shown in the ad.
The problem is that a lot of those revolutionaries still remember when Vodafone and other mobile phone companies pandered to Mubarak and his hired goons and shut down the mobile networks at the height of the protests, in an attempt to stem the pro-change tide that was flooding the country. Whoops!
As one commenter says on YouTube, “WTF? Are you guys seriously planning on leeching something out of this after you cut out the phones and internet... after protesters who were being shot at could not call others and warn them about being shot at by snipers because of you? after injured peaceful protesters couldn't warn other protesters about traps that were being set up? SHAME!”
Egyptian blogger Mohamed El-Dahshan said: “Apparently this... inspired people to take the streets. I mean, never mind the years of activism, the protests, the decades of cumulated grievances, the terrible economic situation, the trampled political freedoms, the police brutality, the torture, etc. Nah – we just watched a Vodafone ad, and thought: 'Hey! We're powerful! Let's topple the president!'”
Vodafone have disassociated themselves from the advert, which was made by marketing firm JWT, who were erm, hired by Vodafone recently to oversee their communications strategy. Apparently it was an internal thing, done without Vodafone’s knowledge and should never have seen the light of day. Of course it shouldn’t.