Controversial campaign about discrimination cost tens of thousands of euros

The anti-discrimination poster that led to discussion photo credit Marlies TCB on Twitter

A controversial poster campaign is driving attention to discrimination in the housing market. It has cost the municipality of Eindhoven tens of thousands of euros. More than 32,000 euros was paid for the placement of the signs and printed matter. This became evident at council questions asked by the LPF and documents that GeenStijl requested. In addition, the municipality suffered reputational damage.

The campaign started at the end of November. It lasted for about one and a half months. There was also a fuss on social media. A poster with the text ,’Erik and Annemarie get the key to their new house. Omar and Samira did not’ raised questions. Under the text it said that everyone deserves a fair chance at a home, regardless of origin, sexual preference or religion.

Polarising and tendentious

The criticism was that the campaign was polarising and tendentious. It was at odds with the reality: status holders often get priority over a house. Omroep Brabant has investigated the background of this campaign. The municipality’s opinion about the criticism was also considered. And whether, for example, they plan to modify or remove posters.

The GeenStijl website has found out what was discussed at the Eindhoven offices by invoking the Open Government Act (formerly Wob). It came up with a response the same afternoon. A lot of consultation happened between the information department, alderman Toub and anti-discrimination agency RADAR.

Radar awareness

Through the campaign, the municipality wanted to increase the awareness of this anti-discrimination agency. It wanted to draw attention to discrimination in the (private) housing market. The municipality, when questioned by Omroep Brabant, wanted to make it clear that this was a national campaign.

In the documents requested by Greenstijl, the council was said to have found it annoying that this approach to discrimination has provoked so many negative reactions.  The municipality continues to stand behind the message. But, it did not make any comments in regard to the creative side of the campaign. Furthermore, the municipality announced that the posters would not be removed prior to the end of the campaign. That only happened on 22 January.


GeenStijl also found that the campaign has cost the municipality more than 32,000 euros. The mayor and aldermen had already answered this to council questions from the Pim Fortuyn List party (LPF).

Incidentally, RADAR did benefit from all the fuss: within a few hours, the agency received more than thirty reports about the offending posters, of which only one was really about possible discrimination in the housing market. The original article can be viewed here.

Source: Omroep Brabant

Translated by: Shanthi Ramani

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