If you want to convince a large group of people to stay part of your country, maybe depicting them as Lego characters isn’t the best strategy.
In a recent article written by a U.K. real estate firm and posted as sponsored content on BuzzFeed, an argument is made that the Scottish people—who vote this fall on whether to become an independent country—would be better off financially by staying tied to Britain.
Rightmove argues that each Scottish citizen will have $2,300 more dollars in his or her pocket annually as part of the United Kingdom. To illustrate, readers see a Buzzfeed-style list of 12 things Scots could buy with the extra dough. For visuals, scenes are constructed depicting Lego people, filling in for actual humans.
It went over as you might expect.
“This is the kind of patronizing attitude to Scotland we have come to expect,” Scottish National Party Treasury Spokesperson Stewart Hosie said in a statement.
According to the post, the average Scot spends $1,141 for a 10-day vacation. But what else could a Scottish person buy with an extra $2,300? How about 280 hotdogs, six years worth of shoes, or 636 medium cappuccinos.
The Guardian writes that the post had government approval and that a Treasury source said people should take it in a lighthearted way.
But that hasn’t exactly been the reaction.
The Guardian slammed the public relations move:
"The list of '12 things that the 1,400-pound UK dividend could buy,' illustrated by a colourful assortment of Lego characters, appears to portray Scots as shoeless, sun-starved, football-obsessed fish supper addicts, with poor grooming habits and such limited imaginations that their favoured activity at the Edinburgh festival is eating hotdogs."
Legos are universal. And some Scots have a bit of fun on social media with them.
But with all the history between these peoples ...
... perhaps keeping the topic of independence toy-free from now on is a wise move.