The business backed campaign to unlock the economy, Recovery, is not a crazy bunch of covid deniers or anti-vaxxers. Their stated aim is to speed up the opening of the economy now the vaccination campaign has covered the vulnerable and starting to cover low-risk adults. A reasonable position, the sequencing is a matter of debate and as the PM told us dependent, on the data. The poster has been banned.
JC Decaux, the world’s largest poster company, have refused to run it saying “due to the political undertones within the messaging of the artwork we are unable to run this campaign.” JC Decaux has run countless political campaigns over the years, so that’s nonsense. The Government itself has spent £184 million on advertising over the past year, a fair proportion with JC Decaux.
Similarly, a poster site at Salford owned by Trafford Council, banned the poster from being used. Trafford Council said
“… unfortunately we won’t be able to carry the client on the TraffordCity roadside digital. As explained these roadside sites sit on Trafford Council land who have to approve artwork… Having looked at the website, unfortunately this would NOT be allowed as it is political and breaches our advertising policy.”
The campaign offered to change the poster design to no avail.
One-sided bans on political advertising are a dangerous form of censorship, like a lot of what is going on currently it is a slippery slope. Recovery is making a fair-minded political argument about the timing of the wind-down of this lockdown. We don’t suspend democratic argument in pandemic…