Royal dogs and telly thieves

Head of Communications and Policy, TV Licensing

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TV Licensing’s effectiveness at catching evaders is one of the reasons our evasion rate is one of the lowest in Europe. In fact, evasion has remained at a low of around five per cent for the past eight years. Although 95 per cent of UK homes are correctly licensed, some still try to avoid paying and, although we would prefer people to pay rather than be prosecuted, we will enforce the law on behalf of the honest majoriy.

We’re increasingly working across online spaces in new, approachable and innovative ways to reach a wide audience, letting people know when they need a licence and the many ways to spread the cost. We work with stakeholder groups on Twitter, released our consumer TeleScope report and TeleHappiness Index earlier this year, and today, officially launched our TV Licensing YouTube channel which highlights some of the most bizarre real-life excuses people have given us recently for not having a TV Licence.

BAFTA award-winning Scottish animation collective, White Robot, have brought their unmistakable sense of humour and quirky animation style to this campaign. It’s an innovative approach for the TV Licensing brand, but one which we feel works well for YouTube.

Excuses we’ve heard in the past 12 months include the unbelievable: “Why would I need a TV Licence for a TV I stole? Nobody knows I’ve got it” and the tenuous: “Apparently my dog, which is a corgi, is related to the Queen’s dog so I didn’t think I needed a TV Licence”.

One evader claimed they had not bought a TV Licence as they had, “received a lethal injection,” whilst another blamed a drastic diet, claiming, “I lost a lot of weight recently and had to buy new clothes. That’s why I couldn’t afford to buy a TV Licence”.

We hope people will enjoy the creativity of the excuses and the animations which bring them to life. More information on TV Licensing can be found at  

Sian Healey is Head of Communications and Policy, TV Licensing.

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