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Plusnet ads blasted for Yorkshire stereotypes

Friday, October 17th 2014 by Hannah Langston

South Yorkshire ISP Origin Broadband has criticised Plusnet for ‘making fun out of Yorkshire’.

Speaking as Origin launches its own network following the failure of the government-backed Digital Region project, managing director Oliver Bryssau stressed the importance of the company’s local roots.

“We have built the network specifically for Yorkshire,” he said.

“We’re not owned by anyone else, we’re owned by Yorkshire people. We invest in Yorkshire jobs and we invest in the local network in the area to create a network for Yorkshire people.

“There is nothing more to it than that and that’s why we’re pushing the Yorkshire thing so much.”

He went on to say: “Plusnet might trade on the Yorkshire brand but its not really Yorkshire, it's making fun out of Yorkshire. A lot of it is - the flat caps, the brass bands and the dog.

Head of operations, Peter Lowes added: “…and a fat man dancing in a field”.

“I was born four miles down the road. I love where I’m from and I want to shout that from the rooftops and I want to do it genuinely. Not having a fat bloke in a field dancing.”

A spokesperson for Plusnet, who use a Yorkshire character called ‘Plusnet Joe’ in their adverts, said in response to Origin’s comments: “Plusnet trades on industry leading, 24/7, UK based customer service and great value products.

“We are extremely proud of our Yorkshire roots and the investment we make into the local community through charity work, community support and jobs creation for local people.

“Our adverts continue to be well received by audiences throughout Yorkshire and the UK,” the spokesperson added.

Origin’s current radio campaign features the voice of Brian Blessed who was born in Mexborough, Doncaster.

Origin was the largest ISP using the Digital Region network, which closed on 14 August due to financial issues leaving several hundred customers without a broadband service.

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