Sharon White puts on her cape and takes to the skies
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope… But wait, she’s clad in a classic superhero outfit. With a kickass cape. And she’s defying gravity!
That’s because in the new campaign from MakeTheAirFair, Sharon White (CEO at Ofcom, the telecoms regulatory body) has been transformed to symbolise the true consumer champion she is determined to be, from the day she took up office*. With her power comes great responsibility, a gift that she is not taking lightly. Consumer champion Sharon White is being urged to use her powers in a bid to bring about true change in the mobile industry. White is being summoned by the people of Britain to ensure fairness and equality in the government’s upcoming auctioning of spectrum licences that are used to transmit mobile signals.
Sadly we don’t live in a world where superheroes actually exist and Sharon White can’t actually fly. However that hasn’t stopped several companies including Three UK, from forming MakeTheAirFair to encourage consumers to show their support by sending a letter direct to Sharon to impose a 30% cap on the amount of airwaves (spectrum) that is owned by any one network.
MakeTheAirFair is raising awareness of the campaign by projecting a superhero cartoon version of Sharon White onto landmarks and buildings across the UK. The campaign carries a message that she is the only woman in the country who has the power to create a level playing field in the upcoming spectrum auction.
Now as any comic book fan knows, for every superhero there must be some sort of villain. In this battle of the airwaves it’s the mobile golliath BT/EE, who dominate the spectrum airways, with 42% ownership, consequently holding a monopolistic sway over the citizens of the mobile world.
Since the campaign launched on Monday November 28, Brits have been making their voices heard by choosing to #TellSharon that she is the last chance to save the UK’s mobile internet.
The images of Sharon White as the mobile industry’s superhero have been projected onto a number of London landmarks, including the Tate Modern, National Portrait Gallery, and the offices of BT during the weekend of the November 26/27. The same projection has been beamed onto various other London locations and is now touring the rest of the UK, and due to appear at various locations including Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol, Newcastle and Glasgow.
In addition to the projections, a ‘human drone’ depicting Sharon White in full superhero costume will also be flying across the skies stopping at six different landmarks in the UK:
- Harlech Castle, Wales
- Loch Ness, Scotland
- Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland
- Angel of the North, North East
- Brighton Pier, South England
- Eden Project, Cornwall, South West
There are also smaller stunts such as clean graffiti that is to be displayed outside Three stores and across other high footfall areas including London, Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle, Manchester, Slough, Maidenhead and Glasgow.
Lianne Norry, director of brand and comms at Three, said: “The Make The Air Fair campaign is such an important initiative for us, as we already have a huge imbalance in the mobile airwaves and it needs to be addressed before it’s too late for consumers. We therefore wanted to make as much noise as possible to really get consumers, and of course, Sharon’s attention. Sharon is one of the most influential people in the UK and has the power to do the right thing here.
“We felt that there was some fun that could be had with this and we wanted to elevate her and her role in this decision. We see her as having a great opportunity here to prove her customer champion credentials and urge her to make the air fair. The range of creative activations see us campaigning at grassroots level to really grab consumer attention in a fun and engaging way. We needed something that would catch people’s attention enough to get them to take action and support this important cause. So come on Sharon, we believe in you.”
Notes to Editors
*Sharon White set her goal during
her first speech as CEO at Ofcom, clearly stating she wanted to ensure
consumers and citizens were at the heart of Ofcom’s work. See full speech here
The campaign calls on Ofcom to put a
limit in place so that no one network can own more than 30% of the useable
mobile airwaves post-auction.
A 30% cap
post-auction will deliver:
- Genuine choice of mobile networks offering competitive prices and
- A mobile industry that ensures that the UK is at the forefront of
new technologies like 5G and get the associated economic benefits
- Better speeds for all mobile customers to support our nation’s
- More choice for consumers through a healthy MVNO sector
*Three and YouGov conducted a survey
into consumer attitudes towards service providers. All figures, unless
otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.
Total sample size was 2171 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken October
17-18, 2016. The survey was carried out
online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults
**BT has the largest proportion of
all available mobile spectrum in the UK with 42%. Vodafone has 28%, Three has
12% and O2 has 15%.
the Air Fair
The campaign is founded by Three UK
and supported by TalkTalk, CityFibre, the Federation of Communication Services
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