How cats stopped ads on the London Tube
Issued on: Modified:
Instead of gazing at large posters advertising toothpaste or cheap flights, London commuters departing from Clapham Common tube (metro) station will be seeing large pictures of cats for the next few weeks. Cats for sale? Nope, these cats are meant to highlight the issue of pervasive advertising… and offer commuters a little fun, says the group behind this advertising takeover.
Almost 700 people took part in a Kickstarter campaign to help the Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (CATS) purchase the advertising space at the station. The project raised £23,000 with the aim of giving people a break from commercial advertising and, instead, a chance to look at something fun and relaxing. The posters went up on September 12 and will stay for two weeks.
While they considered posters with a wide range of images, the group settled on cats because of the animal’s viral success on the internet.
Some of the cats pictured belong to people who donated £100 pounds or more to the cause. Others are stay animals from the charities Cats and Dogs Home and Cat Protection. CATS members say that if they can find a home for a few of the cats in the process, it’d be a bonus.
The CATS initiative was launched by a group called Glimpse, which is a collective of young people in the creative sector (including advertising). Their aim, they say, is to use the tools of advertising for positive social progress, even in small steps.
The campaign page said: “Wouldn’t it be great not to worry about the holiday we can't afford, the car we don’t need, or the body we don’t have? Imagine a world where public spaces made you feel ‘pawsitive’.
“From all this madness something amazing could happen. Perhaps we'll start to realise that buying stuff isn't making us happy. Maybe cats won't make us happy either, but it’s got to be better than insurance adverts.”