Tube posters censored for being too “controversial”

14:56 23 April 2013

'On Earth as it is in Heaven' 2013. Picture: Ben Moore

Archant

Posters displaying Margaret Thatcher in strange and apparently sarcastic contexts have been rejected by Tube advertisers because they are too controversial.

'Shattered' 2013. Picture: Carne Griffiths'Shattered' 2013. Picture: Carne Griffiths

The pictures, created by artists for public art organisation Art Below, were due to be displayed at Westminster Underground station, but failed to meet the conditions of Transport for London’s advertising policy.

Some have suggested this amounts to a ban on the posters but CBS Outdoor, who with TfL manage advertising spaces on the London Underground, insisted the images simply were not approved.

A spokeswoman said that, in particular, the prints contravened section K of the required standards, outlined in TfL’s advertising policy, which states submissions will not be approved if: “The advertisement contains images or messages which relate to matters of public controversy and sensitivity.”

She added if Art Below resubmitted the posters “without the controversial elements, then the copy approval team would reconsider them”.

'Irony' 1990. Picture: Paul Tecklenberg'Irony' 1990. Picture: Paul Tecklenberg

TfL said the decision was taken by CBS Outdoor in the light of Margaret Thatcher’s recent funeral.

A spokeswoman said: “Our advertising contractor, CBS Outdoor, took the view that it could have been considered insensitive to have displayed the posters at the time of Baroness Thatcher’s funeral.

“As her funeral has passed, they will be happy to consider them again.”

Ben Moore, director of Art Below, said he would resubmit the artwork and defended seeking to exhibit it at Westminster Tube station so soon after the former prime minister’s death.

'Maggie Regina' 1983. Picture: Peter Kennard'Maggie Regina' 1983. Picture: Peter Kennard

He said: “I’m not trying to make a political statement about her death…it would have been the same if Princess Diana had died. She’s not a political person but an iconic figure.”

“It’s an artist’s way of marking the death of a very profound and powerful person. I don’t have a political agenda.”

But he also said he had no ill-feelings towards TfL, with whom Art Below often collaborate to exhibit artists’ work on the Underground.

“I’m very appreciative of what they provide,” he said.

Latest Stories

Fri, 14:16
The twins, who spend most of their day latched onto dad, have been named Winnie and Piglet by zookeepers ahead of this weekend’s Winnie the bear celebration at the Little Creatures family festival.

These two new arrivals, born just in time for a weekend celebrating the bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh, have been given some very apt names.

Read more
Fri, 18:38
In order to get your hands on the free crisps, you'll have to tweet a special code and contend with an animated Gary Lineker (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Walkers)

Londoners are set to get free crisps at three bus stops for the next two weeks!

Read more
Fri, 16:53
Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

Read more

TOP Stories

Fri, 14:16
The twins, who spend most of their day latched onto dad, have been named Winnie and Piglet by zookeepers ahead of this weekend’s Winnie the bear celebration at the Little Creatures family festival.

These two new arrivals, born just in time for a weekend celebrating the bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh, have been given some very apt names.

Fri, 18:38
In order to get your hands on the free crisps, you'll have to tweet a special code and contend with an animated Gary Lineker (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Walkers)

Londoners are set to get free crisps at three bus stops for the next two weeks!

Fri, 16:53
Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London Bloggers

Tue, 11:01
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Friday, August 22, 2014
It turns out painting is the perfect thing to do in bars

I’m somewhat of a casual, lazy and very much amateur painter and after a busy day at work, the prospect of getting all my brushes, acrylics, water and other faff out is far from appealing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Will the relaxtion of the rules on phone use open the floodgates to selfie madness at The National Gallery (Picture via Getty)

Will the National Gallery become selfie central after it removes the ban on photography to avoid confusion over visitors using the new Wi-Fi?

Quizzes

Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more