This advert is no longer displayed at Edinburgh Waverley. The poster in question is against our code of acceptance for advertising in our stations owing to its political nature. We do not allow advertising that is likely to support or promote one viewpoint over another.
— Network Rail Scotland (@NetworkRailSCOT) July 29, 2020
Well, that didn't take long. As expected, the "I ❤️JK Rowling" billboard at Waverly station has already been removed by Network Rail Scotland after complaints.
Much like the billboard "Woman, noun, adult human female" that was banned from several media spots, the founder of Standing for Women expected this. The withdrawal of a seemingly harmless billboard brings more attention to the billboard itself, and in turn, Kellie-Jay's organization "Standing for women" and their cause. Some brands have used this tactic expertly, just ask Protein World who also enjoyed tons of spoofs of their campaign, giving their brand message a longer life in the public mind.
We discussed this, and much more, on the Adland podcast episode 8, if you haven't heard it yet.
Ms Keen described the removal of the above billboard “as Orwellian”. She has also previously been questioned by the police for a tweet referring to “male to female” trans surgery as castration. Her Twitter account is now banned, just like Meghan Murphy's was.
Kellie-Jay Keen explains her thoughts on making the "I ❤️JK Rowling" billboard and says she's pleased to celebrate the author this way.
“The important thing about JK Rowling is she has 14 million followers, she is one of the most beloved authors in the entire world,” she said. “Her speaking up, while she probably won’t say all the things I’d like her to . . . is incredibly important. Sympathy, support - I don’t think she is looking for those things. I think like the rest of us she can see what’s going on and she is absolutely aghast.”
So aghast are some by this poster, they can't handle seeing it up. And so it continues, as we are in the midst of a tsunami of censorship. But the words they want to ban are the ones you think.
We've asked Network Rails Scotland what their "code of acceptance for advertising" might be and await a response.
@NetworkRailSCOT do you have your "code of acceptance for advertising" in written form available on the internet somewhere?
— adland ® (@adland) July 29, 2020
It'll be very interesting to hear why, exactly the "I ❤️JK Rowling" message breaches their code of acceptance standards. She is a world-famous author who has written many books that children and adults alike adore. She donates tons of money to charities, she cheers children on when they send her artwork inspired by her books, and so on. Why, exactly, is it a problem to say: "I ❤️JK Rowling" on a billboard when there are so many reasons a fan might love her?
The withdrawal of a seemingly harmless billboard brings more attention to the billboard itself. Now people will ask why it is that Scotlands most successful living author, who lives in Edinburgh, and is turning 55 this week, can't be loved by a simple billboard at Edinburgh Waverley station. Why is it a problem to state that one loves JK Rowling?
So let me get this straight, a sign that declares love for an author is deemed unacceptable, while countless ads OBJECTIFYING women are not? Do you see it? Do you see it now?
There's an opinion piece in Spiked about this today.
"owing to its political nature." WHAT IS POLITICAL ABOOUT LOVING A CHILDREN'S BOOK AUTHOR? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!