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Belgian Police makes Microsoft's advertising

by Nicolas Bossut last modified 2008-03-03 15:20

Microsoft Benelux broadcasts on its website a video showing Belgian policeman speaking highly of Microsoft Office products in comparison with those of Open Office, its open source rival.

Belgian Police tested for a while Open Office before turning around and getting back to Microsoft. Playing the game, inspector in chief Marcel Blijkers accepted to take part in the making of a video showing the logo, the agents, the vehicles and the image of the Belgian police.

Xavier Heymans, president of ASBL Zea Partners and Belgian representative of OBOOE, the European federation of open source industries, smiles when asking himself : "I'm happy to note that from now on, private business can appeal to public service and use their image to advertise their products. It leads to interesting perspectives in terms of marketing."

More seriously, this campaign raises a number of questions. No matter at the end the advantages of open source or proprietary software solutions nor the preferences of the police civil servant for a system or another. On the other hand, we have the right to wonder how the police justify its participation in a campaign of a multinational company. Are we just one step away from policeman wearing Total branded caps and Coca Cola branded jackets?


  • Microsoft's advertising video : On  Youtube or on the Microsoft's website
  • Zea Partners, International network of SME's developing Plone CMS and Zope CMF solutions
  • OBOOE, Open source Business Organizations of Europe.