When you first start watching a disturbing new PSA from charity Oxfam, you might think it's some kind of creepy Halloween chiller. But in fact, it's a hard-hitting way of illustrating a controversial real-life issue: tax avoidance by business.
Created by Don't Panic London, it is titled "The heist no-one is talking about" and depicts a malevolent bunch of creepy, masked people in black, who slip seemingly unnoticed into a hospital and start moving around silently wreaking havoc. They switch off ventilators, unplug life support machines and pull out tubes, before getting ready to make off with vital equipment in an ambulance. In a final, sickening scene, one even makes a special detour to turn off a newborn baby's incubator.
At this point the screen goes black and we see a message informing us that "When companies don't pay their fair share of tax, poor countries are stripped of funds needed for vital services like hospitals."
Tom Green directed via Stink Films on location in Kiev, with post by MPC.
It addresses the topical and controversial issue of large companies not paying what some say is their fair share of tax in the U.K.: the likes of Amazon and Facebook have been implicated. Oxfam is calling on the U.K. government to use next month's Budget to commit to implementing tougher tax laws for U.K.-based multinationals by the end of 2019.
Joe Wade, managing director of Don't Panic, says in a statement: "We aim to re-contextualise complex issues to make them appeal to new audiences, or to audiences that may have lost interest. We feel like this film dramatically achieves this by drawing people in with a heist set-up, before subverting it and delivering a stark message about the impact of tax avoidance."