Reminder: "People are taking the piss out of you everyday" is Sean Tejaratchi not Banksy

The Cats on the tube in Clapham common have created quite a stir in the UK, with industry veterans and cat-fans alike discussing the stunt. Here Nils Leonard, former Chief Creative Officer of Grey London, whom you can you can meet at Cream 2016 Private View event tomorrow attached the kitten stunt to Banksy.... By way of a 1990's Zine.

Wait what? Yes, this is your reminder that those words aren't Banksy's. He published them in a book around 2002, it was called "Cut It Out" and was a self-published collection of his drawings and stencils. Banksy shortened the end paragraphs and changed it from first- to second-person perspective, and then added Crap Hound to a list of credits in the back of the book, along with other sources and photo credits. The problem was that there were no numbers on the pages so the end credits became non-specific, and the tumblr-generation who later found the book ran with the assumption that the essay was Banksy's and not the words of Sean Tejaratchi, writer in Crap Hound magazine who published the essay back in 1999.

Sean Tejaratchi knew the internet had moved on, but posted on his website the full explanation of what happened to anyone digging deeper into the story. I'm just doing my part in bringing it back to the surface, as the internet seemingly will never separate these word from Banksy now.

I realize "Banksy stole the quote!" is much more dramatic and satisfying than "Banksy made a poor stylistic choice in his book layout, causing confusion years later! He attempted to inform me but had the wrong address!" The man's not an imbecile. This would have been an absurdly clumsy and doomed attempt at plagiarism. I will also say that in my recent, limited contact with Banksy, he's gone out of his way to be clear, kind, and genuine, in every way the exact opposite of a twat.


People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.
You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.
– Banksy

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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.