14 November 2012 - 5:00pm | posted by | 6 comments

Karmarama says ‘stupid twats’ cycle campaign was not sanctioned by the company

Karmarama says ‘stupid twats’ cycle campaign was not sanctioned by the companyKarmarama says ‘stupid twats’ cycle campaign was not sanctioned by the

Karmarama has said that a RideSmart campaign which included roadsign limericks about the deaths of fictional cyclists was created by one individual, and had not been sanctioned by the agency or any of its clients.

The campaign also included this paragraph on the RideSmart website: “Every year in this country there are around 19,000 reported cycling accidents on our roads, and on average 3,000 cyclists who are killed or seriously injured. Cyclists riding like stupid twats cause a percentage of these accidents so lots of accidents, injuries and deaths could therefore be avoided.”

Christopher Peck, policy coordinator for national cycling charity CTC, told The Drum: “This appalling campaign trivialises cyclists’ deaths and seeks to pin the blame on the victims, rather than the perpetrators of road crime. We know that for adult cyclists the majority of deaths are blamed on motor vehicle operators, not cyclists.”

Karmarama apologised for the ‘well-intended but misjudged’ campaign, saying that the individual involved has apologised to cyclists and staff members.

A spokesperson told The Drum that HR will not allow any comment to be made on whether the individual will be dismissed by the company, or if it has been settled by the apology.

The roadsigns have now been removed, and an apology placed on the RideSmart website.

UPDATED: Leigh Marshall, founder and editor at Filles a Velo and editor at Women's Cycle Sport Scotland, told The Drum: "I think that the Ride Smart 'campaign' was extremely misguided and very ill thought out. There doesn't appear to have been any research into cycling accident statistics. It wasn't evidence based, merely one individual's opinion.

"The 'campaign' apportions blame for cycling accidents on the cyclists and their behaviour. However if you look at the statistics, you see that most incidents are due to the cyclist being hit by a vehicle from behind. A very small percentage of accidents occur due to inappropriate behaviour from cyclists (red light jumping etc).

"Increasing awareness of safety for all roads users is no bad thing but, I believe we should be undertaking this in a balanced, more evidence based (statistical) way. The Ride Smart 'campaign' served little more than to stir up hatred for cyclists. It was written in an aggressive and immature tone, offering very little credibility."


15 Nov 2012 - 09:37

Why are people decrying this ad, when the CYCLIST went through a red light!? Do they not fucking READ what they are complaining about?!

These idiots are making out that cyclists don't cause accidents - that's an affront on the intelligence of any reasonable human being!!

15 Nov 2012 - 09:42
jasonstone's picture

The News of the World initially claimed "one rogue reporter" was responsible for phone hacking... now we have a rogue individual at an advertising agency who not only writes irreverent and offensive copy: he / she also arranges for signs to be made, paid for and put on lamp posts. Quite an "individual" when you think about it.

15 Nov 2012 - 11:29
katyf68639's picture

It goes to show there are pitfalls to enthusiasm that marketing agencies need to watch out for: http://www.brandrepublic.com/opinion/1159643/think-br-pitfalls-enthusiasm/

15 Nov 2012 - 11:34
john_smart's picture

'Written in an immature tone.' No kidding. It doesn't even scan...

17 Jul 2013 - 21:10
Jquim14534's picture

Is this the most dishonest thing they could've said -- "well-intended but misjudged"? Really, blame people who disagree while upholding the campaign's intent as being righteous.

Disingenuous and dishonest.

29 Jan 2014 - 15:04
andre15155's picture

Just wondering whether the perpetrator had permission to erect his/her signs or whether they're just another addition to the illegal signs which blight the roadscape.

Please sign in or register to comment on this article.

Latest Projects from the Profile Hub

Search campaign increases revenue by 492%

Hobbycraft had been investing in PPC for a while, but spend...

PG tips

The definitive article Decades of evolutionary pack changes...

Raise a glass to Private Dining Room's online visibility

Private Dining Rooms, an online venue finder, initially...

Wigmore Hall

BRIEF Having worked with Wigmore Hall in the past, we were...

172% increase in non-brand profit year-on-year for Virgin Holidays

Virgin Holidays is the largest transatlantic tour operator...