Student Newspaper Spoof Advertisement Honors Killers, Causes Controversy

A spoof advertisement in The Sanctuary, a student newspaper heavy on the satire at the University of Birmingham in the UK, has caused a public stir and spurred a lawsuit, according to numerous reports.  The full-page ad “honors” murderers by offering “designer china emblazoned with images” of the country’s most notorious killers.

—–

According to the Birmingham Post: “The student newspaper invited its readers to celebrate ‘the plucky, mischievous Brits who did gratuitous violence best’ and included a bad taste poem in their honour.”  The ad’s kicker: “Just as these notorious killers committed crimes you’ll never forget, this set represents a once-in-a-lifetime investment you’ll never regret.”  (Best headline about the incident ran in the Telegraph: “Serial Killer Crockery Offered in ‘Advert.'”)

———-

This part of the ad honors Peter Sutcliffe, "The Yorkshire Ripper", who killed at least 13 women between 1975 and 1980.

This part of the ad honors Peter Sutcliffe, "The Yorkshire Ripper", who killed at least 13 women between 1975 and 1980.

——

Reactions: Victims’ groups are outraged.  A spokeswoman for an org called Support After Murder and Manslaughter: “It is beyond belief that anybody can think it is acceptable to print something like this. It is incredibly offensive to bereaved families and glorifies violence and killing. The people who put this advert out probably intend it as a joke, but it is just sick.”

——-

The school is suing, not over the ad itself but the fact that the university crest was used without permission as part of it, something the paper has acknowledged.  Meanwhile, the top Sanctuary editor is not apologizing, called the ad a lampooning of the “sentimental tat” appearing in ad form in professional papers.

———-

Here’s a video of a student discussing The Sanctuary‘s debut issue:

——–

Sanctuary Critique

Comments are closed.