Italians angry about 'smelly salami' posters.


A simple poster in the London underground urging people not to eat smelly foods while riding the tube has caused a bit of a diplomatic spat. The poster triggered a torrent of angry letters from salami-lovers and even the Italian ambassador in the UK.

"We considered this poster to be very offensive to the Italian image, Italian products and the Italian company that is clearly identified," the Italian Embassy's economic counselor Guido Cerboni told Reuters." It is a caricature of Italians."

The London Underground said to Reuters "We apologize for any offence this has caused the Italian community. It was meant to be a light-hearted attempt to stop travelers eating smelly food", the posters have been withdrawn but the storm in a sausage might not be over yet. Cerboni expects that the company who's label is clearly visable in the posters might sue for damages, "It has clearly suffered damage"

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (7)

  • Robblink's picture

    I don't think Italian food is smelly. Why don't the Brits pick on runny French cheeses or runny Indian curries?

    Aug 02, 2004
  • Dabitch's picture

    Yeah really.. Since when was parma ham smelly?
    When I was in France last I bought a great runny cheese which tasted divine, but was so foul-smelling I had to keep it on the balcony. If they wanted to show 'smelly' nothing tops fermented baltic herring (surströmming). That stench makes people ill.

    Aug 02, 2004
  • deeped's picture

    Well... but it tastes heavenly! :)

    Aug 03, 2004
  • deeped's picture

    But I can't say that "that guy look like an Italian"...

    Aug 03, 2004
  • CopyWhore's picture

    I've the niggling suspicion that it's a stock photo... Indeed French cheese is smellier!

    Aug 03, 2004
  • kushwaha's picture

    A single clove of garlic in the centre would have sufficed. And probably got more attention too.

    In this ad, the man predominates the space -- the first visual impact is not about food at all. Bad composition IMHO.

    Nov 30, 2004
  • Andreas-Udd's picture

    Yes! Exactly!

    Plus it would be far easier to make variations, a fermented herring here, a piece of garlic in one poster, a "runny cheese" like dab describes in another.. and so on.

    Nov 30, 2004

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