Latest British Army advert at risk of not reflecting 'what an army really is', experts say

The latest British Army recruitment advert has received mixed reviews, with some questioning whether it will attract young people to join the service.

While war and weapons may be what comes to mind when people imagine an Army recruitment advert, the UK has opted for a different approach.

The ad shows troops rescuing a mother and baby from a flash flood, with a focus on homeland resilience.

But recruitment ads always get an element of criticism, and this one is no different.

Nicholas Drummond, a former British Army Officer, told Forces News it "would have been more relevant to the situation we find ourselves in" to highlight the Army's work training Ukrainian forces and the enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia.

Turn to Twitter and there are many questioning whether highlighting homeland resilience is the most effective way to attract young people to the job.

General (Ret'd) Sir Richard Barrons, Former Commander, Joint Forces Command, told Forces News there is a risk that if you look just at the most recent advert it may not reflect what an army does.

Watch: British Army drops latest recruitment advert 'The Flood'.

He said: "There might be a sense that the Army is selling itself as that's what it does, it does flood relief, and not what an army really is which is an organisation that does industrial-scale violence, that kills people and breaks their stuff, faster than it can be done to us, in the best interests of our nation, and in accordance with the law.

"That's what soldiering really is."

He added, however, that if you look "at the whole sequence of advertisements" that the Army put out – not necessarily the awy it is represented on social media – then "a more balanced picture will emerge".

Last summer saw the first of the Nothing Can Do What a Soldier Can do campaign ads, with the message that robotic soldiers will never be able to take over from human troops – drawing its own critics.

British Army recruitment videos aren't alone in attracting mixed reviews.

A recent US Army ad that featured an animated lesbian wedding and an LGBTQ+ pride parade was described as 'super-woke' by Twitter users.

But whether the ads are popular may not matter so long as they drive traffic to the recruitment site.

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