MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Comments: 20
Article views: 772
Latest Badges:

View all 23thorns's badges.

Johannesburg. A second class African city.

07 February 2014, 15:29

Advertising a city must be quite a tricky proposition. How do you sum up a vast and disparate mix of people and places in a 30 second timeslot on the radio or TV? It’s easy enough if you’re advertising Cape Town (“Shoo wee, look at the mountain, bru”) or Durban (“Look! Dolphins! Schweet!”). But Jo’burg?

The marketing guys did it. They put their heads together and came up with a catchy new slogan; “Johannesburg!” it went. “A world class African city!” They must have been quite pleased with themselves. We have no mountain here. No dolphins. We’re here because of the gold, and that’s all underground. Instead, they went for something that hinted at our role as the country’s economic powerhouse. Way to go, guys! There must have been high fives all round.

Until a chap called Steven Haywood heard the ad. In a remarkable demonstration of civic pride, he leapt to his feet and shouted “Bullsh*t! I live in a festering cesspit! And I won’t have it described in any other way!” And that’s not all he did. He took his contention to the Advertising Standards  Authority.

And they agreed with him. “Yup,” they said, “Jo’burg sucks.” “Damn right it does!” grumbled the good Mr Haywood. “And don’t you forget it.”

To be fair, the case was just a little more complicated than that. In the particular advertisement in question, the city claimed to be financially stable, despite having received three consecutive qualified audits. They claimed to be environmentally friendly. They claimed to be creating new jobs. To cut a long story short, they took a rather liberal approach to the truth.  And the ASA has told them to stop.

Did Mr Haywood pause for even a second to consider the consequences of his actions? There is often a yawning difference between being right and doing the right thing. Does he wish to bring South Africa’s political life to a complete standstill? What’s going to happen the next time the ANC claim to be cracking down on corruption? The next time Julius Malema claims the EFF is acting in the interests of South Africa’s poor and not Julius Malema? The next time the DA claims to be committed to BEE? These people have election campaigns to run. They can’t afford to go trundling off to the ASA every time they are caught lying.

Campaign slogans are going to look a little sad “The ANC; a better life for some!” “Vote EFF; Julius needs a new Breitling.” “Bugger the ANC and their food packages; Vote for the DA and we’ll organise you a country club membership!”

I urge you to reconsider, Mr Haywood. We need our lies. They make life just that little bit more bearable. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, and that truth and honesty seem like ideals to be fought for, but look at how happy children are, and they pretend all the time. And if you don’t believe me now, wait for our fair city to release their next slogan; “Forget Kimberley! Come to Johannesburg; the whole damn place is a hole.”

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Seun Lenin Mogotji
Death road

The infamous R 25 road of Death that link Bronkhorstspruit and Groblersdal! Read more...

0 comments 110 views
Submitted by
Kobie Nel
Med aids for pets and domestics

Pets cannot take responsibility for themselves and therefore the owner takes that responsibility on themselves. Read more...

0 comments 490 views
Submitted by
Themba Rumbu
The Racism that is SA Rugby

Heyneke Meyer must fall. White privilege within the sporting code must be fought from all angles. The best player must take the field. Read more...

0 comments 715 views
Submitted by
Bizaboy Shongwe
Selfless leadership

Are politicians addressing the needs of the masses?

0 comments 223 views
The Cosatu conference decisions.....

The Cosatu 12th National Congress ended today in Midrand and two contentious matters that everyone thought may not be discussed actually found their way onto the agenda. Read more...

0 comments 383 views
Submitted by
Michael Ernest Meder
OUTA on EToll Debr

I really believe Outa is "smoking something" - they are now calling EToll laws unjust and irrational, a far cry from their initial stance of lack of public involvement. Read more...

0 comments 974 views


E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2015 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.