The worst advertising campaign in history? Argyll’s nuclear weapons welcome 


Argyll and Bute use weapons of mass destruction as welcome pack cover 

IT’S ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL parts of Scotland, including scenic islands and miles of calm coast-line, yet the local council in Argyll and Bute have endorsed a more unconventional approach to promoting the area. 

In a photoshoot with sole Scottish Tory MP David Mundell, council leader Dick Walsh endorsed a ‘Welcome to Argyll and Bute’ brochure fronted with an image of the UK’s weapons of mass destruction submarines – based at Faslane naval base. 

The contrast between the ‘welcome’ and the realities of nuclear weapons, designed for the indiscriminate killing of millions of civilians if ever used on foreign cities, prompted shock and jokes from local politicians.

MSP Michael Russell said: “No matter your views on Trident this must be the most inappropriate juxtaposition of image & idea in the history of advertising…”

He also mocked council leader Walsh, who has been subject to numerous scandals in his time of office, stating the independent councillor was “desperate to have his picture taken [with] Mundell no matter how little thought has gone into the photocall”,

Local MP Brendan O’Hara added: “The most beautiful part of one of the most beautiful countries in the world…and they use a nuclear sub to promote it. Quite astonishing!!”

The photo-call was part of an announcement between the council and the UK military, in relation to the high number of military families that live in the area. 

The council said: “The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today will see the signatories work together in delivering infrastructure and opportunities for Royal Navy families and local people to live, work and prosper together.”

However, the choice to place the Trident vanguard submarine on the brochure cover was not taken as a serious or sensible choice for promoting Argyll and Bute. Journalist Derek Bateman joked: “We go to Argyll for sub-spotting at Easter, take the Geiger counter and look for hotspots, pop into the Trident tea rooms.”

Dick Walsh, the council leader, was previously implicated in a bullying scandal unearthed by CommonSpace

Picture courtesy of Argyll and Bute Council

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