Still Game for a laugh? Only if it doesn’t involve an old man in a bath

by Scott Douglas

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

We put in a hard shift on behalf of our client, the Care Commission.

Take last Friday for example – which saw me dealing with no fewer than five separate media inquiries from assorted newspapers.

A hefty workload by anyone’s standards.

Last week also saw me take one of the more surreal inquiries I’ve dealt with on behalf of Scotland’s independent care watchdog – and no newspaper was involved.

Rather, some wee wifie from West Lothian phoned to complain about the advert for Scotland’s National Care Standards which is currently getting a fresh airing on our TVscreens


This ad, featuring a character called Tam and his carer, first ran for eight weeks in 2008.

And since then it seems to have been raising as many frowning complaints as had raised a chuckle.

In fairness, I have little wish to watch a near naked septuagenarian taking a bath. But this simple ad is actually done with a more than a wee dash of panache.

It’s obviously tongue in cheek and Tam’s request for his sceptical-looking male carer to go fishing for the soap is clearly played for laughs.

Indeed, if the setting was switched and this was a sketch in Still Game it would no doubt be considered a hoot.

So I can only guess that what people object to hear is that they don’t like their humour with too much of a dash of realism.

Reality for thousands of ageing Scots is that they do need help just to manage bath-time, as well as help with many other every day task. And with an ageing population that will become more and more pronounced every year.

Looking the other way – or getting offended by ads which tell it how it is – won’t change that one iota.

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