Iltalehti reported that the first version of the breath-raising video commissioned by the Prime Minister's Office in the corona spring was shelved because the people who performed it showed too many face masks in the opinion of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Government Communications Director Päivi Anttikoski told Iltalehti that STM's communications became a very clear request that masks should not appear in the video ordered from director Aku Louhimiehi.

For this reason, the video approved by the Prime Minister's Office in mid-April was never used, but a new version was ordered from Louhimies.

Additional work cost 17,500 euros.

  • The shelved video can be viewed above this article.

  • Read more: This is Aku Louhimiehi's coron video, which was shelved by the Ministry - the required repairs almost doubled the price

IS asked Kirsi Varhila, Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, to comment on the matter.

Varhila asked to ask Vivikka Richt, Director of Communications at STM.

The Prime Minister's Office commissioned a breath-taking video from the production company of director Aku Louhimiehi and actor Andrei Alén, which depicted ordinary Finns. Photo: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

Vivikka Richt, why was the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health given instructions on how to shelf a mask video and who made the decision?

- The Prime Minister's Office has coordinated corona communications, and a joint meeting of the communications directors of all ministries has been held every day, currently there are meetings twice a week.

In the spring, the WHO recommendation did not concern the use of masks, so then our common guidelines have been in line with it.

This discussion has taken place in relation to both masks and mask video.

The most important thing has been a unified line.

STM Communications Director Vivikka Richt (right) at a press conference on coronavirus testing in August.

On the left, Mika Salminen, Director of THL's Health Safety Department, and Krista Kiuru, Minister of Family and Basic Services. Photo: Arttu Kokkonen / Lehtikuva

Who made the decision not to use the original video?

- This question must be asked to Päivi Anttikoski, it is a video from the Prime Minister's Office, for which they have ordered corrections.

According to Anttikoski, STM's communication has become a very clear request that masks should not be shown in the video.

- As it should be, each ministry has brought a message from its own administration.

Building on what the WHO has guided, this message has been brought to joint day meetings.

Who from STM has forwarded this message to the day meeting?

- At that time, there was no communications director in the house, the deputy was communications manager Riikka Nurmi.

Two weeks ago, IS reported on THL’s information materials, which went unpublished in the spring because the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health crashed their use.

Pictured is one unpublished communication material. Image: THL

The communication unit barely defined the mask line of the ministry.

Who have been key personnel in STM’s organization since the mask alignment was done?

- Of course, the Communications Unit does not make such policies, especially alone.

THL's experts have been one of the important sources, of course our own team of experts.

Certainly the entire leadership of the ministry is involved in this type of discussion.

I would not say that there is any single person on the case.

Why was it seen as a problem that more masks had appeared in the breath status video?

- It is a matter of aligning the unity of communication.

The WHO did not recommend the use of masks, at that point the epidemic situation did not appear to be a mask recommendation coming.

Already in the past, guidelines had been made not to raise masks for frames so much, but to stick to the main means of communication.

Was the epidemic situation at the time in early April not very worrying?

- Yes, there was no information on where it was going.

The WHO did not see the need for a recommendation, at least quickly, in that epidemic situation.

New guidelines did not come until June.

There were many experts other than the WHO who took a position on the mask issue in the spring.

Did the ministry base its position only on the WHO?

- It has been a very strong factor, of course our experts have gone through the whole.

IS recently said that THL wanted to inform about the use of masks in the spring, but STM crammed THL’s intentions.

It has now emerged that STM’s strong message has led to the shelving of the mask video.

What do you think STM's operation in the mask complex looks like now?

- The spring has communicated very steadily about this, which is a terribly good thing.

There has been no confusion.

When there is a view, it is good to communicate it consistently.

Even if that were the wrong view now?

- At that point in the spring, it has been the view that has been the basis for decision-making.

Of course, when the information in the background changes, you have to react to it.