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Posters banned from railway stations published here - Comments

sunbeamforjeebus's Avatar Comment 1 by sunbeamforjeebus

Who are the companies that own these advertising spaces and why are they so bloody pathetic?

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 09:25:25 UTC | #598630

six45ive's Avatar Comment 2 by six45ive

This reinforces my belief that religion isn't as benign in this country as many people think. It's a very pernicious and surreptitious meme that tries to influence our behaviour without us even knowing about it.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 09:43:59 UTC | #598632

jez999's Avatar Comment 3 by jez999

Bit of a vicious cycle in the UK, isn't it? Oversensitivity causes people who criticize oversensitivity to be censored... which makes the oversensitive seem like the only people talking about the issue as no-one else gets heard.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 09:45:35 UTC | #598633

Chica1's Avatar Comment 4 by Chica1

I had to laugh when I read that this company were afraid of offending people on the BBC news website.

In my experience this company has a policy of offending people. I went to an interview for a job with this company a few years ago and the office manager told me (and I'm paraphrasing, I can't remember the exact wording) that if I wanted to work for them I would have to have a thick skin because the 'banter' in their office could get quite racy.

I declined to go for a second interview because I didn't want to work in an environment where I could potentially be insulted and not have any protection.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 09:46:14 UTC | #598635

Southpaw's Avatar Comment 5 by Southpaw

I'm certain that I have seen quotes from the Bibble displayed in train stations up and down the country for years now, including the good old 'The fool hath said in his heart, there is no god'.

This, obviously, offends me to the point that I almost feel compelled to think about the possibility of perhaps writing a strongly worded letter to my local newspaper.

Someone needs to visit a few stations carrying these and, assuming the ad space belongs to the same company, send them photos of them. Sounds like outright cowardice to me.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 09:46:26 UTC | #598636

eivind's Avatar Comment 6 by eivind

I agree the censorship is ridicolous, and the leadingly-phrased census-question is an insult, but the poster wasn't "only tangentially related to religion", unless you consider a orchestrated campaign to reduce the influence of religion in society to be largely-unrelated to religion.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 09:57:05 UTC | #598642

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 7 by El Bastardo

who viewed them as too likely to cause offence.

I think it was Da Vinci who said experimentation is the only source of all certainty. So I propose an experiment. Put them up and see just how offensive they are.

In a dash of irony if this came form the E.U. then the Daily Mail would be screaming about political correctness gone mad, big brother, blah, blah, blah. You can't see this cause it might offend someone else.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 09:57:28 UTC | #598643

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 8 by Ivan The Not So Bad

Play it right and getting banned usually gets you more publicity than the original campaign ever could. And it's all below the line (ie. free) to boot. Result.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 10:12:07 UTC | #598649

the way's Avatar Comment 9 by the way

For goodness sake!

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 10:19:58 UTC | #598650

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 10 by Vorlund

We live in a sad age where arguments rest on emotive appeals rather than rational thinking. It is also a feature of the irrational among humankind to rise to the indignation of being offended in an attempt to add weight to their emotional plea bargaining. It is more unfortunate that the most irrational among us believe in dOG and wish to be offended on his behalf in the vain hope that we will feel like shit for offending them. A quick and rational view of the process as that while a few very silly people worry about this, we don't fucking care!

They should lampoon it by providing posters which say 'for Poseidon's sake' ...............

What of the people who have to live near churches and view from their windows all the crap that is posted there?

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 10:21:10 UTC | #598651

josephor's Avatar Comment 11 by josephor

Comment 1 by sunbeamforjeebus

Who are the companies that own these advertising spaces and why are they so bloody pathetic?

A very good question and I will add what are they afraid of?

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 10:30:45 UTC | #598653

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 12 by Nunbeliever

Like someone else pointed out above. This is actually good news for the campaign. The publicity they got because of a single bad decision is worth a lot more than a few posters on railway stations. It so clearly shows the religious hypocricy and why this campaign is much needed! We should acutally send thank-you-cards to this company for playing right into our hands.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 11:19:48 UTC | #598666

archdeacon pluto's Avatar Comment 13 by archdeacon pluto

The godbotherers love to feel victimised , as part of the Almighty's test to see if you are the real deal .As guilty sinners ,suffering can be good for you .

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 11:37:11 UTC | #598672

rationalmind's Avatar Comment 14 by rationalmind

Oh someone would complain. You could guarantee that there would be some Christian nut who would complain but the phrase "For God's sake" is used so much commonly that most people would not be offended. Any evidence of rulings from the ASA in the past?

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 11:53:00 UTC | #598674

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 15 by God fearing Atheist

Comment 8 by Ivan The Not So Bad :

Play it right and getting banned usually gets you more publicity than the original campaign ever could. And it's all below the line (ie. free) to boot. Result.

I was about to cheer for that reason and then I saw that the "media outlet" was the BHA's own website. I'll cheer if it hits the national press.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:19:23 UTC | #598683

aball's Avatar Comment 16 by aball

This is an increasingly common phenomenon in the UK. Every public body and private company runs scared of offending somebody and simply won't take any risks. If avoiding offence means repressing free speech, the so be it. We are quickly becoming the censorship capital of the western world.

Britain desperately needs a written constitution like the US with guaranteed civil rights such as freedom of speech. But I doubt that I will see this in my lifetime!

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:34:14 UTC | #598687

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 17 by SaganTheCat

Comment 1 by sunbeamforjeebus :

Who are the companies that own these advertising spaces and why are they so bloody pathetic?

Advertising as an industry aims to make money through projecting an image of what is considered something to aspire to. Advertising can inform us of benefits of a product but generally uses psychological methods of focussing on self-doubt and fear of alienation while implying those who buy in to a product have a happier life and are generally more popular than those who don't.

So I'm guessing... christians?

Comment 8 by Ivan The Not So Bad :

Play it right and getting banned usually gets you more publicity than the original campaign ever could. And it's all below the line (ie. free) to boot. Result.

Like Frankie say; RELAX!

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:34:37 UTC | #598688

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 18 by Richard Dawkins

This is beyond pathetic. It is cowardly and shows astonishingly poor judgment by somebody. That somebody needs to be named and shamed. I'm not sure how to find out who is responsible, but a possible starting point might be the Committee of Advertising Practice, since it seems likely that those responsible for making this cowardly decision might have been influenced by their code of practice, which includes the following under Section 4.1:

Marketing communications must not contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care must be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. Compliance will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards.

Marketing communications may be distasteful without necessarily breaching this rule. Marketers are urged to consider public sensitivities before using potentially offensive material.

The fact that a product is offensive to some people is not grounds for finding a marketing communication in breach of the Code.

The Committee of Advertising Practice has a Media Centre, which says the following:-

Welcome to the CAP and BCAP media centre. This section contains up-to-date information for journalists and media including the latest news, announcements and developments affecting advertising self-regulation. We also have a Frequently Asked Questions page which provides a useful guide to CAP and BCAP and how the system works.

To contact the press office, call 020 7492 2123 or e-mail press@cap.org.uk.

If we have here any investigative journalists eager to ferret out and expose the fatuous Dundridges responsible for banning the BHA's advertisements, perhaps this might give them a lead.

Richard

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:36:17 UTC | #598690

Mungo9000's Avatar Comment 19 by Mungo9000

Is this worth causing problems with the Advertising Standards Agency? I know they deal with misleading adverts, but in this instance a case could be made that the holders of these spaces are making a deliberate omission, from a registered charity, in order to sway public opinion.

I doubt it would get anywhere but the prospect could certainly add fuel to a potential media fire.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:39:47 UTC | #598692

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 20 by Richard Dawkins

Is this worth causing problems with the Advertising Standards Agency?

Yes. I am hazy about the difference between the Advertising Standards Agency and the Committee of Advertising Practice. Might be worth following up both leads?

Richard

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:46:49 UTC | #598697

RevJimBob's Avatar Comment 21 by RevJimBob

Jesus!

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:52:32 UTC | #598698

Simon Templar's Avatar Comment 22 by Simon Templar

Is this worth causing problems with the Advertising Standards Agency? I know they deal with misleading adverts, but in this instance a case could be made that the holders of these spaces are making a deliberate omission, from a registered charity, in order to sway public opinion.

LMFAO As opposed to the publishers of the adverts who want the posters displayed in order to sway public opinion

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 13:05:41 UTC | #598700

PERSON's Avatar Comment 23 by PERSON

Comment 23 by Simon Templar

So you think having gatekeepers for what is and isn't said is fine, then? I know we do anyway since it takes money to advertise, but why let it get worse, such that even popular groups that have money are filtered out? Can't you see that this is a violation of the principle of free speech (the principle, not the brain-dead simplification of that decrepit American rag, y'know, the one covered in skidmarks)?

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 13:13:06 UTC | #598701

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 24 by Stafford Gordon

How pathetic! How offensive! Let's out them.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 13:24:35 UTC | #598704

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 25 by rod-the-farmer

I suggest they reprint the posters with the offending phrase replaced with "For Thors' sake". Ideally it would be a peel-off label, so that real people could remove the offending reference to Thor.

If a peel-off label would still cause problems, make it such a size as to reveal there is something else underneath. There is no such thing as bad publicity.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 14:09:03 UTC | #598715

Stephen of Wimbledon's Avatar Comment 26 by Stephen of Wimbledon

In response to Comment 21.

According to their Net site:

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is a tripartite body made up of the representatives of advertisers, agencies, media owners and other industry groups, all of which are committed to upholding the highest standards in advertising.

Aside: Surely quadripartite?

Basically: The CAP is a club set up by the ASA to ask a bunch of poachers to turn gamekeepers and set standards for non-broadcast advertising. (Can you say; self-serving, worthless and a lost opportunity?)

These 'standards' are then used by the ASA to judge any complaints about print advertising.

When judging a complaint the ASA also (presumably, though no-one says either way) also apply the basic rule that all advertising must be legal, decent (whatever that means), honest and truthful.

In précis: Complaining to the CAP is a waste of time. They may forward your complaint on to the ASA - but I wouldn't bet on it.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 14:12:19 UTC | #598716

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 27 by Alan4discussion

I hear on the local radio, BHA representatives are discussing this, so it is already backfiring to some extent. My own inclination would be give the advertising and the revenue to the bus companies while "outing" the "theo-train-brains" responsible!

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 14:18:37 UTC | #598718

Simon Templar's Avatar Comment 28 by Simon Templar

So you think having gatekeepers for what is and isn't said is fine, then?

Not at all, I was just highly amused at the indignation of Mungo9000 at the poster being deliberately omitted in order to sway public opinion when in fact the poster itself is there to sway public opinion

You couldn't make it up

In the interests of free speech perhap there should be a neutral poster saying

'When it comes to the Census, fill the form in as you want to , not as how others tell you you ought to'

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 14:19:41 UTC | #598719

bethe123's Avatar Comment 29 by bethe123

Comment 3 by jez999 :

Bit of a vicious cycle in the UK, isn't it? Oversensitivity causes people who criticize oversensitivity to be censored... which makes the oversensitive seem like the only people talking about the issue as no- one else gets heard.

This is a logical result of the UK hate speech laws... The UK needs a "first amendment" guaranteeing free speech, and hate speech laws should be repealed.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 14:27:28 UTC | #598722

Notstrident's Avatar Comment 30 by Notstrident

The posters themselves are perfectly worded and perfectly illustrated.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 14:35:09 UTC | #598725