10:57 AM, 28th March 2017, About 5 years ago 15
Nottingham City Council are claiming that between 2013 to 2016 to have received 4500 complaints against the PRS in support of their plans for a city wide licensing scheme.
In response to a Freedom of information request that I made the Council have admitted to spending £9,664 between 2014 and 2016 on advertising, specifically to encourage complaints against what the Council referred to as “Rogue Landlords”.
The Council confirmed that during their campaign the number of complaints received increased by 25%. No information was given with regards to the nature of the complaints.
How does the Council, or anyone else for that matter know (particularly with the complete absence of any data or records) that had it not been for their advertising campaign that the amount of complaints made could possibly have dropped by an amount in excess of the 25% increase.
Any assumption that the advertising campaign was responsible for 25% extra complaints would be totally wrong, as there is no way of knowing. Those who believe in the power of advertising may suggest a higher percentage, in which case the amount of complaints received, had it not been for the advertising, would have decreased.
The only thing that we can be sure of is that it is totally wrong for any organisation, Public body or otherwise to actively mount an advertising campaign in order to solicit and gain an artificially inflated distortion of the true facts in support of their objectives
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