Yorkshire Water ridiculed after latest advert features footage from Russian bar and left-hand drive car from Ukraine

26 July 2023, 17:52 | Updated: 26 July 2023, 17:53

Yorkshire Water said they were unable to check the footage before it went out
Yorkshire Water said they were unable to check the footage before it went out. Picture: yorkshire water/social media
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Yorkshire Water has faced ridicule online after it emerged its latest ad campaign featured footage from a Russian bar and the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire.

Yorkshire, also known as God's Own Country, is renowned for its beautiful landscapes.

But not enough for Yorkshire Water, who used footage of the Malvern Hills in its latest advert - which is actually nearly 200 miles away in Herefordshire.

It's also a part of the UK that's well-known for it's pubs. According to the Michelin Guide, some of the best pubs in Yorkshire include the Alice Hawthorn Inn and the Durham Ox.

Nevermind, though, you won't get any of them in Yorkshire Water's latest advert.

Instead, footage includes barman at work in a deserted bar. Not in Yorkshire, but in Russia.

This is footage from Herefordshire, not Yorkshire
This is footage from Herefordshire, not Yorkshire. Picture: yorkshire water/social media

There is also a clip in the advert where a man drives on the left-hand side of the car, which could place in a number of places in the world, but may have been filmed in Ukraine.

Alongside the social media campaign, a caption read: "Spread the word about water saving via less conventional means, as our new research reveals bosses, barbers and beauticians are among Yorkshire folks' most prized sources of life advice."

It adds that its "word of mouth campaign aims to share water saving tips and guidance through trusted, relatable and engaging people".

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Research carried out by the BBC debunks the footage, with the bar being located in the Russian city of Sochi rather than Sheffield, as well as footage from Ukraine and Herefordshire.

Environmental campaigner Feargal Sharkey said: "It underlines the most serious point, once we get past the mild amusement of it all, and that is this laissez-faire, almost casual indifference that water companies, like Yorkshire Water, show towards their customers."

Yorkshire? Think again: Russia.
Yorkshire? Think again: Russia. Picture: yorkshire water/social media

A Yorkshire Water spokesperson said: "We recently shared a short teaser video for our new ‘word of mouth’ social media campaign to promote water saving. 

"Unfortunately, it was shared before we’d had chance to do our normal checks on it and the stock footage that had been used didn’t capture the spirit of Yorkshire.

"Once we were aware of the mistake we immediately took the video down. 

"The “word of mouth” video series all contain Yorkshire residents talking about their water saving tips, and footage of our wonderful county."

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