"A CAMPAIGN to stop passengers from eating smelly food on the London Underground has backfired horribly and sparked a diplomatic incident between Italy and Britain."
A diplomatic incident.......oooooerrr. According to The Scotsman the ads only went up last week - which is bollox as they've been up for months - I blogged one in early June - but I spose it makes for a much more dramatic story to say that after a week the ad was pulled rather than months.
Anyway loads of Italians got really offended by the ad and wrote to their embassy in London. "Italy�s ambassador to London, Giancarlo Aragona, sent letters to Mr Livingstone as well as to London Underground�s marketing director, Richard Parry, and informed officials in Rome of the posters." ........
"Last night Guido Cerboni, of the Italian embassy in London, said: "I just can�t believe how naive London Underground was in allowing these posters to go on display.
"The man seen sitting on the tube is clearly Italian and he is surrounded by Italian salami and Parma ham, and you can quite clearly see the Italian flag and the name of an Italian firm.
"The poster implies that Italian food is smelly and that Italians eat smelly food. This was a colossal error and as soon as we heard about it we complained."
Mmmm, I can sort of sympathise but I don't think the guy in poster looks remotely Italian - he looks like Bernard Manning to me, but that's by the by.
Anyway Ken Livingstone got involved and the ads are now being taken down:
Sherrif Ken said "As a lover of Italian food, I can say that the items illustrated both smell and taste delicious. I have asked London Underground to take the ads down immediately."
A London Underground spokesperson said: "We apologise for any offence caused to any members of the Italian community and charcuterie manufacturers and retailers."
Most Tube ads are going to be offensive to someone, but I'm not Italian. But aren't they just supposed to be vaguely funny? Humour is going to have a dig at someone somewhere along the line. The whole thing has now given the papers a field day to come up with some very corny headlines - some of my favourites from the 77 currently in Google News (yep 77 stories about this - jeesus).
Mamma MIA...ITALIANS in A Stew over Tube Ad Salami wars over tube poster UK smelly food plea irks Italians London Yanks Smelly Salami Poster Italian envoy poo-poos anti-smell poster