Brighton council apology to Status Quo over advert

A page from website used by Brighton council Council chief John Barradell said the advert was a play on words

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A council chief has apologised to rock band Status Quo after one of the local authority's job adverts said their fans need not apply.

Brighton & Hove City Council hired a private recruitment agency to create the advert for four strategy directors who will each receive £125,000 a year.

A website created to advertise the jobs said "Status Quo fans need not apply".

Chief executive John Barradell posted an open letter of apology on the site, adding it had used play on words.

He said it was his wife who had tipped him off that the advert might upset Quo fans.

In the letter he wrote: "Dear Status Quo (and fans!),

Start Quote

The question of musical preference will not be asked at interview”

End Quote John Barradell Chief executive

"A quick note about our recruitment campaign, which has been noticed far beyond my expectations.

"Firstly, I'm sorry if any offence has been caused by our advert slogan 'Status Quo fans need not apply' - none was intended.

"What we mean by this play on words is that we want people who will come to the council with brilliant and original ideas about how to make residents' lives better.

"We don't want people who will accept things the way they are. But I accept that it was a little insensitive."

'Musical taste irrelevant'

He added: "I hoped it would stand us out from the crowd and would get people interested."

Mr Barradell said he had also sent a letter to the band's official fan website about the advert.

And he said: "I should clarify that the question of musical preference will not be asked at interview. It is not relevant to the recruitment of these jobs."

On Tuesday, public service union Unison criticised the council's spending on creating the senior posts and the recruitment campaign, which came at a time when the authority was aiming to find £15m in savings.

Brighton council has not revealed how much it spent on the job advert.

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