Security service says it hopes advert showing a mother comforting her child will help recruit more diverse workforce.
The advert’s opening shot could be straight from a James Bond movie.

BEIJING, CHINA – NOVEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT) Actor Daniel Craig attends ‘Spectre’ premiere at The Place on November 12, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

Sinister music plays as a shark circles. Seconds later, the scene widens to show a startled child being comforted by his mother in an aquarium.

But the message MI6 wants to convey is how the spy agency is less interested in recruiting would-be 007s than people who reflect the diversity of the UK – mothers, for example.

“We are intelligence officers, but we don’t do what you think,” the ad’s voiceover says. “It is not keeping your cool in the shark tank. It is picking up the silent cues that matter.” Then comes the payoff: “MI6 – secretly, we are just like you.”

The ad, to be shown on Channel 4 on Thursday night, marks the first time MI6 has advertised on television, though it has used cinemas in the past.

The security service’s chief, Alex Younger told reporters at a preview event at MI6 headquarters in Vauxhall, central London: “I want this opportunity to dispel the myths that still too often see potential candidates rule themselves out.

“My message remains simple,” he added. “There is no standard MI6 officer. If you have what it takes, then apply to join us.”

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