Video: Better Together advert rejected as ‘too negative’

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A video scheduled for broadcast just days before the referendum on Scottish independence and shelved by the No campaign for being too negative has surfaced, more than two years after the vote.

A video featuring archive footage and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was eventually screened in its place in the penultimate week of campaigning.

Scotland can be seen drifting off into the Atlantic Ocean after it splits from England. Picture: Contributed

Scotland can be seen drifting off into the Atlantic Ocean after it splits from England. Picture: Contributed

According to BuzzFeed News, the advert - which cost a reported £50,000 to create - was ditched by Better Together chiefs who felt it didn’t fit the message in the final weeks of the campaign.

The rejected clip - titled ‘The Island’ - features a young girl watching as Scotland and England are separated by a number of tools including a chainsaw and a blowtorch, while there are shots of a leaking oil pipe and wires being cut.

The advert ends with the child on the edge of a cliff as Scotland drifts further away from England.

Maggie Darling, wife of the Better Together chief Alistair Darling, likened it to a horror film, and was replaced a softer, more positive advert titled ‘A Proud Nation’.

The young girl stares in horror as Scotland and England are literally 'separated'. Picture: Contributed

The young girl stares in horror as Scotland and England are literally 'separated'. Picture: Contributed

A Better Together insider revealed to BuzzFeed News that the video had been planned as the showpiece of the No campaign, intended to drive home the pro-Union message.

But it was abandoned for being ‘unnecessary’ amid fears it would further fuel accusations of scaremongering from the Yes camp.

The source told BuzzFeed: “The film was beautifully produced, but it didn’t fit the mood, it felt unnecessary, and we decided not to run with it.

“When it was first shown in the office there were lots of sharp intakes of breath.

“I have to admit, it’s not a subtle message.”

The advert voiceover says: “Somewhere, tucked away in the North Sea of our planet Earth, there is a small island - our island.

“This small island of ours, and the people who live here, are bound together by more than earth and rock.

“We are bound together by over 300 years of common history; common achievements that measure far beyond our geographical size and have made us one of the greatest countries on our planet.”

The advert would have been broadcast the week after the notorious ‘Woman Who Made Up Her Mind’ advert, dubbed ‘Patronising BT Lady’ by the Yes camp and widely mocked on social media.

The advert ends by asking viewers: “Do we really want to become an even smaller island in this big, rapidly-changing world?

“Do we really want to cut ourselves off, from all that we have built together... forever?”