|Buzby: judging by the caption, |
he not only talks but tells lies ...
Now here's a little piece from IPKat reader Gerry Gavigan, which illustrates beautifully that the same thing is still happening. He writes:
"It turns out that the power of a brand (and I suppose, therefore, its monetary value) can be much greater than ever intended. Hector is still not dead yet, despite a drive-by attempt on his life in the early 2000s (noughties).The IPKat wonders whether this is a peculiarly British phenomenon, or whether the public sector in other countries is equally good at missing golden opportunities like these?
Several permanent secretaries/chairman ago, the UK's Inland Revenue (as was) decided to capitalise on the reality of tax, (we like what we get, we don't like paying for it) and invented Hector the Taxman as a brand. Hector (such a good name) was the little bowler-hatted stripey trousered chap that used to bang on about compliance. And, of course, he resonated.
Hector, who really is here to help you
There used to be Hector statuette awards (I don't know what for but I bet if you know any accountants ask them all and at least one of them will still have one tucked away somewhere).
Hector was developed in house (a little birdie tells me) for about 50p. However the then Civil Service diversity champion, Inland Revenue Chairman (Sir Nicholas Montagu), decided that Hector wasn't the right image and should go.
Since then HMRC (as it is now) has spent a lot of money on campaigns with high profile people heading them up, actors, TV celebrities and the like (no doubt with suitable appearance fees) including shouty woman "go on, go on, go on", Moira Stewart, Adam Hart-Davis, (possibly others, I'm not obsessed ...), none of whom seem to have the required brand effect as they are replaced.
However the one person that I keep tripping over is Hector. He will be redrawn to illustrate Sunday newspaper tax articles. Whenever there is a news story about tax he appears. Most recently (today, in fact) he appears advertising a check your tax code facility on moneysavingexpert.com
I imagine that there are many organisations that would have loved to have a brand so powerful and redolent that it is impossible to kill. It is not a shame that a public sector body has spent so much money trying?"