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Stinky Tube Food Uproar

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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.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • “people who look like they may have an accordion at home”

    That’s scary. These people must be kept off the tube for the sanity of everyone else.

  • RJ

    “people who look like they may have an accordion at home”

    What the hell does this even mean?

  • I’ve seen the “Love is Love” characters (those cartoon people who looks like they’re wearing pajamas) asking people not to eat smelly food:

    “Love is … not eating smelly food on Underground trains.”

    They also had ones asking people to allow others off the train before boarding, to move down crowded platforms, etc.

    But this was a first, and I’ve not seen it. And it’s just like Red Ken Livingstone to give in so easily to political correctness. It’s not anti-Italian, the man simply looks like a butcher — a British butcher, even.

  • Eric Olsen

    British butchers don’t make hand gestures

  • Eric Olsen

    And RJ, it’s that dry British humor

  • Daniel Irhuebor

    The part london underground went wrong by puting smelly food poster is that they should know that some people some of the food that is in the image next time they should just put a post that doe’s not have a real life person or thing just a cartoon with the word (please don’t eat smelly food)