- An advert on page 17 of the Ealing Gazette on 24th September.
- An advert in the Eveing Standard on or around 3th October.
- A very small advert in the Daily Telegraph on 22nd October.
The Telegraph ad is particilarly pitiful. It is very small (about 3 inches by 1.5), and the text is so small as to be more or less unreadable without a magnifying glass. It was published on a Friday (generally regarded as being the day with the lowest circulation for national papers) and it was tucked away among the legal notices which is a part of the paper nobody reads unless they are a lawyer..
The headmaster promised that adverts would be placed in local and national newspapers. So he hasn't quite lied, in that adverts have been placed in more than one paper, and at least one local and one national newspaper have been represented. But it is perfectly clear that the advertising has been the most minimal that could possibly be regarded as consistent with the letter of the promise.
If you are a parent who attended the meeting on 14th September I would be interested to know whether this level of publicity is consistent with what you understood was promised at the meeting.
When I met Lord Carlile on 12th October, he told me that there would be "a further round of advertisements in the national papers" in the next week. Plural for advertisements and plural for papers. I've raised this with Lord Carlile since, saying that if he was told that there would be adverts, he has been lied to. One advert in one paper does not make a round by any reasonable meaning of the word.
Publicity in the national papers is very important. Former pupils of the school live all over the country, indeed all over the world. Therefore adverts in the Ealing Gazette or Evening Standard aren't going to reach many of them.
Those who have been abused are in general going to have moved away from the area in much higher proportions than others, in order to try and leave their bad memories behind. For the same reason they are less likely to have kept in touch through the OPA.
It very much appears to me that the adverts have been carefully crafted to involve as little publicity for the inquiry as possible, and to ensure that victims are under-represented in those reached by the publicity. And Lord Carlile appears to be going along with this.