Don’t Panic sarcastically portrays Rishi Sunak as Cupid in critical OOH campaign

Creative agency Don’t Panic has released a ‘Love Calculator’ this Valentine’s Day, humorously raising serious concerns over the government’s latest policy to restrict immigration.

Dubbing the new policy a ‘cost-of-loving crisis’, international couples will face serious issues in the UK as the earning bracket required for a visa rises 55% from £18,600 to £29,000 in Spring 2024, rising again to £37,000 in 2025.

Sarcastically depicting prime minister Rishi Sunak as Cupid, Don’t Panic’s billboards will raise greater awareness of the policy among the wider public and the potential risks it could pose to multi-national couples.

A QR code linking to the agency’s ‘Love Calculator’ will allow couples to assess their compatibility under the proposed rules, which Don’t Panic points out would prevent 70% of UK workers including nurses and teachers, to bring their family into the UK.

“The Conservative government is literally putting a price on love in this country – and they’ll split up families by doing so,” Don’t Panic founding partner Joe Wade said.

“We don’t want people in Whitehall governing love, so we hope to capture the hearts of the British public this Valentine’s Day, and urge them to sign the petition calling to stop the government raising the earning bracket.”

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Visitors to the landing page will also be directed to a live petition calling for the earning bracket not to be increase to its maximum bracket, with 100,000 signatures required for this to be debated in parliament.

Inspired by one of Don’t Panic’s own creatives Ben Howell, whose German girlfriend cannot currently join him in the UK, the out-of-home-first campaign will run across London, targeting key areas of high footfall such as Whitechapel and Shepherd’s Bush.

Howell added: “As a young person, it feels like I can only afford to love freely once I meet the salary threshold, and given the stagnant wages of this country it looks like I’m destined for a lonely 20’s as I navigate a long distance relationship,”

“It has been a real shock to have a vision of how your relationship will pan out, to then have a government policy take that away overnight. But that said, I know there are people affected even worse. Families are split across borders, and kids grow up without one of their parents all because of a government policy. It’s harrowing.”

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