In Defence of Liberty

Driven by data; ridden with liberty.

Ed Balls Day and the Brand-Wagon


Five years on, the joke still lingers. (Source: Twitter/Ed Balls)

On the internet, none of your mistakes are ever forgotten.

Five years ago, Ed Balls, the Labour MP for Morley and Outwood and Shadow Chancellor, was searching for an article about himself. In error, the MP posted his own name on Twitter.

The internet responded to this mistake in its traditional form: merciless mockery. Luckily, Mr Balls himself took the incident in good humour, and has never actually deleted the tweet.

(Video: markoswin)

The culture of social media, in particular Twitter, meant that 28th April is now celebrated as ‘Ed Balls Day’ [1].


Companies have tried to gain coverage for their own products and service on this day, sending out ‘Ed Balls Day’ tweets. Whilst it is certainly not as negative or as inappropriate as a company trying to curry favour over celebrity deaths, there is something strange about this brand-wagon.


The post was quickly deleted. (Source: Twitter/Cheerios)

Like parents commenting on your Facebook-recorded drinking, the conversation feels out-placed and unwelcome [2].

Gnawing at the back of your mind, you release that some social media manager must have placed this tweet — either making painful puns or just posting their own organisation’s name — on their ‘grid’ of planned posts.

It is just an odd facet of internet subculture — a joke that keeps going, even for five years.


[1] Sini, R., 2016. Happy Ed Balls Day, from Ed Balls. BBC. Available from: [Accessed: 1st May 2016]

[2] Chrysostom, A., 2016. Are brands ruining #EdBallsDay? Econsultancy. Available from: [Accessed: 1st May 2016]



This entry was posted on May 7, 2016 by in Social Media and tagged , .
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