I can hear the planning meeeting:
“Okay, we need a poster telling people not to eat smelly foods on the Tube.”
“Gawd, those Middle Easterners and Indians eat all kinds of stinky shit. How about a poster with Osama bin Laden and Ghandi?”
“Um, no, that wouldn’t work, now would it? Can you say Kilroy-Silk?”
“Okay, who else eats smelly foods?” …..
The Italians were much less controversial targets – or so they thought:
- London transport authorities promised Friday to remove posters warning against eating on the subway that left a bad taste in the mouths of Italian diplomats.
The offending advertisement depicted a man on a subway train surrounded by salami, strings of sausages and Parma hams, above the words “Please don’t eat smelly food.”
Guido Cerboni, economic affairs chief at the Italian embassy in London, said the poster was “offensive and harmful to Italian products.”
He said Italian ambassador Giancarlo Aragona had written to London transport officials and mayor Ken Livingstone to complain about the ad.
“We have no objection to the campaign about smelly food, but we object to the way it has been presented,” Cerboni said.
“It is clearly harmful for Italian produce and also not very politically correct, because the man portrayed in the poster was clearly Italian or Mediterranean.”
Advertising executives had “obviously never eaten prosciutto” if they thought it was smelly, he added.
Livingstone said he had ordered the posters removed.
“As a lover of Italian food, I can say that the items illustrated both smell and taste delicious,” he said. “I have asked London Underground to take the ads down immediately.” [AP]
I don’t care what anyone says: garlic breath fucking reeks, and uncooked onion eaters should be quarantined until they crap it out.
So the aim of the campaign was noble, but the execution was staggeringly tone deaf, whether “lighthearted” or not. And while smelly food and breath suck and everything, in a London Underground poll, smelly food was only 13th out of a list of sins behind such grievances as “people who look like they may have an accordion at home” and “people who pick their nose and flick or eat the contents.”
I can see the posters now.