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.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, August 28, 2015
Jeremy Corbyn.

A disposable coffee cup used by Jeremy Corbyn as sold in an online auction for £51.

Friday, August 28, 2015
She was playing with her family in Hanworth Park when she was hit by the pellet that could have killed her (Photo: Google StreetView)

The little girl was running from her mother to her grandfather in Hanworth Park when they heard a loud noise like an air rifle shot.

Police say she could have been killed.

Friday, August 28, 2015
Police are investigating a rape in Park Road on Sunday

A crime scene has been set up after a woman reported being raped in Muswell Hill in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Friday, August 28, 2015
On second thoughts, just stay at home

We know you’re eager to make the most of the long weekend, so check out our guide to avoid spending it stuck in traffic or at the train station as you try to get around London.

Friday, August 28, 2015
A Game of Thrones White Walker would not stand for any Tube strike

From the inspirational to the downright bonkers, here are 23 things you’d only see in London.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more
Free weekly shop? Yes please!

Win £200 to spend at Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Asda prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here.

Read more