5 December 2012 - 3:51pm | posted by | 9 comments

Unfortunate Blacks Outdoor ad sends out the wrong message

Here’s a good reminder to advertisers to ensure that your copy matches up with your art direction.

An eagle-eyed reader in Coventry has sent us this image of a billboard ad for the outdoor chain Blacks which contains some unfortunate juxtaposition between text and imagery.

Creative Review: 

Our spotter, who works for an established design agency in Coventry, said the “uncomfortable” ad had “stopped me in my tracks”.

They added: “I like walking so I'm familiar with the Blacks outdoor clothing brand. However, if you weren't familiar with the Blacks brand the ad could be misread communicating far more inappropriate messages...”

We are seeking to get hold of Blacks to find out how this one made its way out of the marketing department unnoticed…


5 Dec 2012 - 16:30

"We are seeking to get hold of Blacks to find out how this one made its way out of the marketing department unnoticed…"

Outrageous! Are you implying that white people aren't allowed an opinion on this? ;)

5 Dec 2012 - 16:32
mikethomas84's picture

This isn't worthy of an article.

The name of their business is "Blacks", so what you're effectively saying is that this company can never feature a black person in their marketing - lest some moron draws a connection between the two.

You haven't even used the word "juxtaposition" correctly.

7 Dec 2012 - 11:21
pwhun10608's picture

@mikethomas84 So True. They feature so many different people in their Ad's. I would suggest they don't want to comment as there is nothing to comment on!! Simply and Ad for their new store with a bloke in an outdoor coat! PS checked out the new store and it looks awesome!! Has anyone else been in??

6 Dec 2012 - 00:01
super91899's picture

I'd never heard of Blacks until now, I've just looked them up. I need to get out more. The problem for me lies with the Blacks logo reading straight into the headline. If it was elsewhere, say at the bottom as a sign off then it would be less misleading. A sloppy day at the office. Badly done.


I think it's pretty snotty response to say 'this isn't worthy of an article' and then continue to make a comment. Well done Mike.

6 Dec 2012 - 07:29
mikethomas84's picture


Although it probably would have been "snottier" to end my comment after the first line, an explanation was probably needed. I stand by it.

7 Dec 2012 - 08:27

@mikethomas84 is absolutely right though.

I would add that the "eagle-eyed reader" is just another of these pointless, hyper-sensitive cretins desperate to find something to be vicariously offended about.

6 Dec 2012 - 12:13
TimboRiches's picture

Anyone remember Timothy Whites?

6 Dec 2012 - 17:21
paulaustin's picture

Slow news day?

18 Mar 2013 - 16:57
blanchie14c's picture

If anyone was actually bothered by the supposed message then the first thing any normal person would do is google this 'Blacks outdoors place' then they'd learn the name of the company is called Blacks and their choice of model for the advert is simply a true reflection of UK society - multicultural. The 'offended' would perhaps learn about themselves for the experience too.... I suggest you look for a new 'spotter'


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