I’ve been very excited about the release of the Bristol duo’s new album called Heligoland. Initial promotion involved a controversial but omg how fucking awesome music video to a song called Paradise Circus. The album cover has been designed by one of the musicians in the group Robert del Naja also known as 3D. His style is well known for being very dark and gory.
As part of the promotion Massive Attack planned a campaign on the London Underground. Media company controlling advertising on the tube is CBS Outdoor. As it turned out the advert has been rejected by TfL’s advertising department on the basis that it looked too much like graffiti.
“They won’t allow anything on the tube that looks like ‘street art’,” explains del Naja. “They want us to remove all drips and fuzz from it so it doesn’t look like it’s been spray-painted, which is fucking ridiculous. It’s the most absurd censorship I’ve ever seen.”
TfL sets conditions for advertising on the Tube, one of which states that an advert will not be accepted if it “uses handwriting or illustrations that would suggest the poster has been damaged, defaced, fly posted or subjected to graffiti”.
A TfL spokesperson said:
“We worked with the advertiser to ensure that this particular advert complied with our policy.”
In February 2008, a poster featuring a 16th Century painting depicting Venus, the Roman goddess of love, in the nude, was deemed too risque for Tube travellers.
On the other hand a notorious criminal under the nickname of Banksy managed to get a billboard campaign promoting his new film approved all over London Underground stations. The movie is out on 5th March nationwide. VNA will be covering the pre-premiere on 27th Fabruary.