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Yorkshire Water ad uses footage of Malvern Hills, Ukrainian drivers and a bar in Russia, social media responds…

Malvern Hills, not Yorkshire, Creative Commons

Yorkshire Water is in hot water after its latest social media video used stock footage of the rolling Malvern Hills of, err, Herefordshire, a left-hand drive car in Ukraine, and images taken in a bar in the Russian resort of Sochi.

The advert was intended to promote the Bradford-based company’s campaign urging customers to save water.

Unsurprisingly, there was plenty of mirth and anger to be found directed at the utility firm on social media:

Environmental campaigner and former Undertone Feargal Sharkey took to BBC Breakfast this morning to make a more serious point: “Once we get past the mild amusement of it all [there] is this laissez-faire, almost casual indifference that water companies, like Yorkshire Water, show towards their customers,” he explained.

Feargal Sharkey on BBC Breakfast

Yorkshire Water has been criticised recently for the amount of sewage discharged into rivers and along coastlines, while in May the company’s CEO Nicola Shaw apologised to customers for sewage being discharged into the region’s rivers. Shaw also promised the company would invest £180m in reducing sewage leaks from storm overflows.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said the video has now been removed from its social media channels, and promised better to come: “We’re excited to share the first video in our series will be out soon, featuring Harrogate residents and a small Harrogate business,” the statement offered.

Unfortunately for Yorkshire Water, they may find that the residents of Harrogate have a few questions of their own:

If you missed the ad first time around, meanwhile, thankfully Graham Hughes at Labour Social’s Moment of Truth has kept it for posterity, along with a shot-by-shot breakdown of the clip’s best moments (and scenery):

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