Poster sites owners call for redress over flyposting by Mates

The Mates condoms manufacturer has re-ignited the row over illegal flyposting after its ads were pasted across poster sites throughout London.

A major poster contractor has demanded that the company, Ansell Healthcare, pay £2,000 in compensation or face legal action and a possible police investigation.

The controversy erupted after the appearance of the Mates "" campaign to encourage spontaneous outdoor sex. The campaign was booked by Rocket PHD and distributed by the ambient media company Diabolical Liberties.

Maiden Outdoor took action after the ad was pasted across its 96-sheet poster site on London's Great West Road, partially obscuring an ad for Ford. "This was a blatant attempt to steal space," Maiden said.

In a letter to Ansell's managing director, Mike Bennett, David Pugh, Maiden's managing director, accused the company of breaching town and country planning regulations and claimed its action amounted to trespass.

He added: "This cheap stunt is clearly intended to steal the limelight from your market-leading competitor, Durex, which has purchased a legitimate poster ad campaign."

Clear Channel Billboards said this week that it would also be taking up the issue with Ansell, describing the flyposting of its sites as "vandalism".

Ansell said it had no intention of causing offence with its campaign, which was aimed at increasing the use of condoms and helping to curb the number of unwanted pregnancies. It added that it was a responsible company, which would deal "promptly and effectively" with any complaints it received.