The British Army has today launched a series of sponsorship deals as part of its efforts to stave off the effects of budget cuts. Speaking at a news conference at the MoD, Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff said, “This is a momentous day for the British Army. We have taken our first tentative steps towards becoming self-sufficient which means safer jobs and funding for more weapons and equipment.”
Deals have been struck with some of the world’s biggest corporations for various aspects of the Army’s work. Overall sponsorship was won in a highly competitive bidding ‘war’ by Barclaycard. Troops assembled at the news conference gave a spectacular display of close quarters combat and house to house searching. “Essentially nothing has changed”, commented Captain Dan Trebbings. “When entering a house by force, we have added a few simple words to our commands to reflect these new deals.” The soldiers then demonstrated breaking into a house, shouting, “This is the British Army, sponsored by Barclaycard, drop your weapons and lie on the floor.”
Advertising contracts have also been awarded to McDonalds, Starbucks and BP. These will take the form of discreet patches sewn onto uniforms. PR manager for BP, Lucinda Rees-Knight said, “We are so proud to be sponsoring our brave men and women. We worked closely with the Army on the design of the patches and although it was initially disappointing, we were eventually sensitive to their requests for non-reflective materials to be used. Our logo actually looks great in camouflage. We feel that the pioneering, expeditionary nature of the Army’s work fits well with our corporate values and mission statement. There are also synergies to be observed with the US Army and corporate America, where the commercial ventures quickly followed military action, such as in Iraq for example.”
Critics have been quick to sound alarm bells about the sponsorship deals. Dipti Ramunathan of Liberty said, “We abhor the idea that the Army will be carrying out missions whilst collecting money from global corporations for displaying their logos. It is a total abuse of the British public’s good nature and it must be stopped.”
Sir Peter said, “Inevitably there will be sceptics voicing concern about these deals, but we have to realise that without them, the Army would be in severe financial trouble.” He then bit into a quarter pounder with cheese and winked at the camera.