Government seals ties for 'web inclusion' plan

LONDON - The government has launched a campaign promoting the benefits of the internet to the 'socially excluded'.

Led by entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox, the government's champion for digital inclusion, ‘Race Online 2012' is backed by BT, Channel 4, Microsoft and Age Concern.

The government claims that 10m adults in the UK have never used the internet and 4m are ‘socially excluded' from the web. Of these 4m, 39% are over the age of 65.

Despite the push, Ofcom has turned down a request by Channel 4 to help fund a project called ‘old season'.

The broadcaster is understood to have asked for £500,000 to develop digital activity that would have run around a special season of programmes in November, aimed at older viewers.

Channel 4 shows 10 Years Younger, How to Look Good Naked, Embarrassing Bodies and The Home Show will focus on the over-60s in a week of programming challenging the stereotypes of older people. The programmes are still scheduled to go ahead without the online element.

Ofcom said it ‘did not have enough time' to give Channel 4's request for funds ‘proper consideration'.

In its Digital Britain report, the government encouraged public-service broadcasters to create content that promoted digital participation.

Race Online 2012 will inform people that they could save an average of £560 a year by shopping and paying their bills online.

The campaign will involve commercial groups and local authorities working together to raise awareness of the benefits of online access. The project will run alongside work by a consortium led by Ofcom also promoting digital participation. Overseen by Digital Britain minister Stephen Timms, it has more than 50 members, including BT, the BBC and Sky.

UK Online Centres, an organisation funded by the government, is promoting a series of events for Get Online Day this Friday (23 October).

In my view   Expert comment

Neil Hughston, Managing partner, digital, Grey

From a media perspective, we want to get everyone online as quickly as possible, and it comes down to affordability. The answer is getting local authorities, which are closer to the socially excluded, more involved, perhaps by giving web access through libraries. The activity has some big partners and they are going about the communication of this in the right way. Martha Lane Fox is a public face, so it will be driven by a lot of support.

 

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message