Police intervenes over Commission for Racial Equality ads

- The police have intervened to ban a new advertising campaign from the Commission for Racial Equality, which has also been the subject of a flood of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

- The police have intervened to ban a new advertising campaign from the Commission for Racial Equality, which has also been the subject of a flood of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Three ads, created by Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, went up on poster sites around Britain last week. They each purport to be for a non-existent company and are deliberately racist.

One, for "Kujo" sportswear compares a black basketball player to an ape, using the line: "born to be agile." Another shows a white businessman standing on the hand of a black businessman as he climbs a ladder. It carries the legend: "Dominate the race." The third shows a woman sitting on a bus, eyeing a black man in front of her with suspicion. It is an ad for a rape alarm and carries the line: "Because it's a jungle out there."

The ads are due to be replaced today by new posters which carry the CRE moniker and ask: "Which was worse? This advert or your failure to complain?" They also use the line: "Racism, Condemn it or condone it. There's no in between."

The Bath and Avon constabulary ordered the original teaser posters in its area to be removed last week on the grounds that they caused a breach of the peace and were an incitement to racial hatred. The ASA, which received over 30 telephone complaints during the first two days of the campaign, also asked the CRE to remove the ads on Friday, but the advertiser has left it until today to paste over them with the new ads, as originally planned.

An ASA spokesman said: "We are extremely disappointed that an organisation which would be the first to come to us for help if it saw a racist poster has refused to co-operate with us when the boot is on the other foot." He added: "The CRE has abused the system."

Brett Gosper, Euro RSCG's chief executive, said the campaign was designed to be "impactful" adding: "We're inviting people to protest against racism."



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