Latest Project Green marketing effort to promote disgraced CEO backfires

A new marketing campaign to promote the recent appointment of disgraced former MFSA chief Joseph Cuschieri as the new CEO at Project Green was met with a strong public backlash on social media.

The paid campaign entitled, “Meet the team driving Project Green”, features a video of the normally sharp-suited Cuschieri in casual attire explaining how his latest government appointment is “going to make a difference.”

In the video, Cuschieri introduces some of his new team, many of whom were appointed without a call for applications and handpicked by the government.

However, the social media marketing exercise, boosted through paid sponsorship by Project Green, appears to have backfired.

The site seems to have attracted an abnormal number of comments harshly criticising Cuschieri and the government’s greenwashing initiative.

Some people criticised Cuschieri for his reappointment and brought up his infamous Las Vegas trip. Others directed their anger at the government, accusing it of trying to appear environmentally friendly while allowing building permits to go unchecked and a laissez-faire culture that has ruined the island.

A sample of comments criticising the latest Project Green PR campaign.

Experienced marketing strategists told The Shift that the reaction to the Project Green campaign indicates just how unpopular the government’s green credentials are.

“The last thing (Environment) Minister Miriam Dalli needed was to appoint a CEO with so much baggage. This is definitely not helping,” one senior marketing strategist told The Shift.

Earlier this year, Cuschieri was brought back into the government fold by his old friend Miriam Dalli. She had previously given his 24-year-old daughter, Katrina, a job as a consultant before she even graduated.

Prime Minster Robert Abela defended the controversial reappointment by saying that Cuschieri was given a second chance.

In 2020, Joseph Cuscheri was compelled to resign from his position at MFSA. An internal investigation discovered that he had breached the code of ethics by visiting Las Vegas with his close friend, Edwina Licari.

The trip was entirely financed by Yorgen Fenech, who was involved in gaming and financial services and whom Cuschieri and Licari were supposed to be supervising.

Fenech is currently in prison, facing charges of involvement in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Tens of thousands spent on advertising

Project Green has allocated tens of thousands of public funds to mainstream media for promoting its projects, with its latest marketing campaign being just one part of this initiative.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by The Shift revealed that during a six-month period last year when Steve Ellul, now a Labour MEP candidate, was managing the agency, approximately €20,000 per month was spent on advertisements. All adverts were distributed through direct orders.

Among the biggest beneficiaries were the political party media houses, ONE and NET, Allied Newspapers, and Malta Today. A full list can be found here.

Ellul had also hired the services of popular singer Ira Losco, paying her around €1,500 a month to promote Project Green initiatives and post them on her social media channels.

                           

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Mick
Mick
1 month ago

Just another day in Mafialand. Run of the mill Daylight Robbery.

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
1 month ago

Ego te absolve, Ego te suscitabo. Amplius tibi dabo.

D M Briffa
D M Briffa
1 month ago

Gahan is stupid. Gahan votes Labour. How stupid are you?

Lawrence Mifsud
Lawrence Mifsud
1 month ago
Reply to  D M Briffa

As a GAHAN would say “U iva, minn tieghi ma ha xejn!”. Ma jindunax li hadlu ‘l- ruhu.

David
David
1 month ago

While I believe that everyone should have a second chance, it would be fair if people without a tainted past had at least the same level of access to well paid, cushy jobs as those with it – and those with a tainted past could compete on the open job market for their second chance, the same as everyone else. Maybe people like Joseph Cuschieri here could start again from the first rung, maybe a cleaner or messenger, and work their way up to the top through competence and hard work rather than corruption.

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