MI6 unveils first ever TV advert as part of new spy recruitment drive

"Secretly we’re just like you," says the ad from the Secret Intelligence Service – could you be the next James Bond?

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The UK intelligence service MI6 is launching its first TV recruitment ad.

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The advert, whose slogan is Secretly We’re Just Like You, will air during the Channel 4 News on Thursday night and is the first such campaign paid for by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), the official name for the organisation overseeing MI6.

The advert will show a mother with her child in an aquarium; a shark glides menacingly towards the child, who steps back in alarm before turning to his mother who sweeps him up smiling in her arms.

The voiceover says: “We are intelligence officers but we don’t do what you think. It is not keeping your cool in the shark tank; it is picking up the silent cues that matter.”

MI6 TV advert

The advert ends: “MI6 – secretly we are just like you.”

In a statement the SIS said, “SIS is recruiting across all roles in its workforce. The agency has always attracted talent, but in order to remain one of the best intelligence services in the world, we need to harness talent from the widest possible range of backgrounds.”

The TV ad comes as it is keen to attract people from backgrounds who are hitherto believed not to have been drawn to a career in espionage. This is thought to include young mothers and people from black and minority ethnic [BAME] communities among others.

Its statement added: “Some still believe that to join SIS a candidate needs to be from a certain type of background, or that SIS is not conducive to those with families for example. We like to show the public that this is not the case, because secretly, we’re just like you.”

The Chief of SIS, Alex Younger, explained, “I want this opportunity to dispel the myths that still too often see potential candidates rule themselves out. The Service I am proud to lead is global, modern and most capable with a deserved reputation of being one of the best intelligence services in the world.

“Ml6 makes a unique contribution to protecting Britain’s security and prosperity. My message remains simple: there is no ‘standard’ Ml6 officer: if you have what it takes, then apply to join us. Our work is exciting, intellectually challenging and it matters. Regardless of background, if you have the skills we need and share our values, I want you to consider a career in intelligence, in a service that reflects today’s UK society. Ml6 needs the best people that this country has to offer and there really is a place for you.”

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So get you applications in now, would-be spooks…