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CBS Outdoor bans ‘controversial’ Thatcher posters from Tube

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 23, 2013 | 2 min read

Street display specialists CBS Outdoor have implemented a blanket ban on a series of six posters by Gallery Different, all of which depicted former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a series of historical heroines - after claiming that they breached Transport for London guidelines on ‘public controversy or sensitivity’.

The portraits were due to run in Westminster underground station this week to advertise an exhibition currently being staged by the gallery and included depictions of Thatcher as Queen Victoria and the Virgin Mary.

They formed part of a regular series of artistic advertisements placed on the Underground by Art Below.

Ben Moore, the artist who penned the work, said: “I remain hopeful that these images will eventually conform to the guidelines, or the guidelines will evolve to reflect a more democratic state."

A CBS spokeswoman said: “If an advert has messages or images that relate to public controversy or sensitivity it will not be run. If an advert comes to us and clearly contravenes TfL guidelines we will not run it."

In regards to this particular campaign a CBS UK Outdoor spokersperson, commented: "The campaign wasn't approved due to sensitivities around the funeral and also because some of the images could be considered unsuitable for public display and contrary to advertising guidelines. If the images are resubmitted without the controversial elements, we'd be more than happy to run the campaign."

The adverts had not been referred to the ASA and TfL said the decision had been made solely by CBS Outdoor, which has held the concession on the transport network since 2006.

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