Freedom of Information reveals cost of tourism advertisement, why it wasn’t put out to tender, and the fact two others are to follow

PUBLISHED: 11:47 17 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:47 17 April 2017

Tourism ad launch at Light cinema

Tourism ad launch at Light cinema


A one minute 12 second tourism advertisement produced by Fenland Council that produced a mixed response when it was aired in January, is to be followed by two others.

Tourism ad launch at Light cinema Tourism ad launch at Light cinema

Fenland Council confirmed they have commissioned three such promotional videos but have not said when the other two will follow.

A Freedom of Information request revealed the cost of all three - £1,500- was approved without going out to tender.

Tourism ad launch at Light cinema Tourism ad launch at Light cinema

“The Fenland Tourism Board decided to develop a promotional video as a group and to use a local film maker as the lead,” said a council official.

“FDC raised an order and paid for the work as the budget sits with FDC.”

Tourism ad launch at Light cinema Tourism ad launch at Light cinema

“As the sum was less than £5,000 the council’s procurement regulations allow an order without a tender.”

The official confirmed the cost per film of £500 “and a further two short films will be produced; no release date has been decided as yet”.

Tourism ad launch at Light cinemaTourism ad launch at Light cinema

The council was asked whether in determining the creation of an advertisement campaign could they confirm what advice was sought as to its likely success and the methodology deployed to deliver the message to a wider audience?

“The Fenland Tourism Board decided to produce a video as it is something other tourism destinations use and Fenland has not in the past,” said the official.

The video was produced by March-based Fenland Film Productions and the cast used were local people.

Councillor Michelle Tanfield, chairman of the local tourism committee, said all the cast were local people.

Introducing it to an invited audience of about 30 tourism providers and cast members at The Light Cinema, Wisbech, she said: “It’s short, snappy and to the point and I hope you agree shines a fantastic light on Fenland.”

The advert, entitled “Fenland - it won’t let you down”, consists of a series of short clips highlighting outdoor attractions, including cycling, walking, fishing, angling, river trips - and even flying.

On YouTube the video – that has had 1,197 views- has attracted a mixed response with one critic describing it as “shambolic” and another describing it as “shockingly poor”.

However others describe it as “amazing” and “a great vid”.

On his website Tim Nightingale, who runs Fenland Film Productions, says his goal “is to ensure your business stands out from the crowded market place that it competes within.

“We will help to raise your profile whilst respecting your available budget. We will listen and ensure your brand image is the cornerstone of the visual content. Ultimately our goal is to convey your unique selling points and messages creatively so that you can feel confident and proud of the finished film.”


  • I just watched this on YouTube and left some very negative comments. It is awful. Has anyone asked Cllr Tanfield how they are going to measure its success, as I can't see that it would attract one new tourist. There are so many good things in the Fens to showcase, things you would struggle to find elsewhere. Historic churches, unique museums and miles of tranquil waterways just for starters. This video could have been shot in Devon or Birmingham or just about anywhere. It is said you get what you pay for but surely Cllr Tanfield has to bear the responsibility for this debacle and either find the money to properly promote the Fens or resign. Her actions speak for themselves as she is part of a council that has stopped funding the museum, supported colleagues at County level in starving the library service and education of funds, and is part of the same council that is quite happy to build over natural habitat just so they can get their grubby hands on more Council tax and support their property developer friends. She and the local council have as much interest in promoting tourism as they have in flying to the moon.

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    Robert Smith

    Friday, April 21, 2017

  • Sorry, me again. What did this actually show of Fenland? An old man in a country lane - could have been anywhere. A woman sitting in a plane - could have been anywhere. A man firing an arrow - could have been anywhere. A person fishing - could have been anywhere. A narrowboat and a kayak - could have been anywhere. What about the heritage festivals? Straw Bear in Whittlesey, St George's Day in March, Wisbech Rose Fair. Historic towns, buildings and Museums - not a mention. Famous people - not a mention. Images of the landscape, iconic pictures of the Fens, Fen sunsets, the waterways, not one image that could definitely be placed here. And for the real "why you should have a holiday in the Fens" - an old man running to have a foot massage as the final scene - how does this sum up the Fens? Opportunity knocks? Opportunity lost more like.

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    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • This once again shows the ineptitude of FDC. How Ms Tanfield can say "It’s short, snappy and to the point and I hope you agree shines a fantastic light on Fenland.” beggars belief. It was crass, poorly shot and to say it was amateurish is an understatement. As a FDC Council Tax Payer I suggest that they demand their money back from the producer and don't embarrass the people of this wonderful part of England by showing the other two.

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    Monday, April 17, 2017

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