In Brief

‘Offensive’ funeral ads banned from London Underground

Rejected posters include fake holiday ad promising ‘roasting temperatures’ for cremation

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A funeral comparison service has criticised Transport for London for banning their ‘edgy’ adverts from the capital’s buses and Tube trains.

A planned ad campaign for Beyond will not go ahead after the Committee of Advertising Practice, which advises TfL, said they were “likely to cause serious and widespread offence”.

“Proposed adverts from Beyond showed beachgoers running with coffins rather than surfboards - with a pun on ‘roasting temperatures’ and cremations,” says the BBC.

Another showed a woman looking at coffins in a shop similar to a bridal boutique to get the ‘perfect look on [her] big day’, while another spoofed medicine ads to suggest death was on the horizon:

In a statement, Beyond’s co-founder, Ian Strang, said the decision was “hugely disappointing”.

“Our ads were designed to challenge people’s reluctance to talk about death and we hope they may even raise a smile,” he said.

Speaking on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, Strang argued that there was “a long history of edgy campaigns being used to cut through difficult issues” and that the ads were not intended to offend or cause upset.

However, a TfL spokesman said that the transport authority had a “serious responsibility” to ensure that passengers were not unduly offended or upset by the content displayed on their services.

A revised series of adverts for the service has since been given the green light. However, even the toned-down versions have ruffled some Londoners’ feathers.

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