The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received complaints about the above poster which has since been removed
Elham Asaad Buaras
Anti-terrorism posters which sparked a racism row have been withdrawn earlier this month.The posters part of the British Transport Police’s new campaign to stop terror threats on the rail network were slammed for allegedly using anti-Semitic and racist imagery.
The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received 13 complaints by November 8. Passengers complained that the posters echoed those used to advertise a so-called degenerate art exhibition the Eternal Jew in Nazi Germany in 1937.
The artwork showed a suspicious-looking bearded man in the foreground and a woman behind him, with the caption: “See it. Say it. Sorted. Are they wearing a big coat to hide something?”
Chair of the Museum of Immigration and Diversity in East London, Susie Symes, said, “For anybody who is old enough to remember them or who’s studied them of who has ever seen images from the Nazi era, this is the same imagery,” she said.
“I’m sure these must have been completely unintentional, I don’t think they knew what they were doing.
“But the fact is it’s exactly classic. There’s two things. One is the imagery. The dark, large nosed, threatening stranger. And the contrast with the young white, innocent young woman and the dark skinned bulky man.
“And also the use of language, of ‘they’. It’s demonising a particular group.” The force has since decided to remove the posters after admitting they had caused “upset”.
Assistant Chief Constable Alun Thomas said: “The images on each of the posters in this campaign were specially created in order to avoid using photographs of any specific individuals or groups.
“However, we are aware that one particular image has caused considerable distress due to its similarities with offensive historic propaganda. It is highly regrettable that this image, and its connotations, were overlooked during the development of this campaign.
“We recognise and understand the upset that has been caused by this. We and our campaign partners have listened to the feedback we have received and this poster has now been withdrawn.”
He added: “There are clearly lessons for us to learn with regards to quality assurance and better audience research in any future campaigns.”