tact in advertising

Metro UK frontpage March 14th: Japanese earthquake news and Pokémon advert

Occasional unfortunate juxtapositions of headlines or adverts and news stories can’t be avoided, particularly online when there may be no one person in charge of a page design and layout.

Even so, I was shocked to see the front page of today’s UK Metro digital edition.

There’s a huge, attention-grabbing photo of devastation caused by the earthquake in Japan, and right below it an advert for Pokémon Everywhere which claims that “over 150 new pokémon have arrived in the UK”.

For the next four double pages, they appear – juxtaposed with the news from Japan – one in the underground, and others around the streets of England, alongside bin bags, bollards and park benches, every bit as if they were refugees fleeing from the disaster that has struck their homeland. Someone has clearly made a deliberate decision to put these adverts with this news.

I’m not usually bothered by black humour, but I don’t think I can be the only one who thinks this isn’t in the least witty.

Metro UK digital edition, March 14th, 2011, pages 2 & 3
Metro UK digital edition, March 14th, 2011, pages 4 &


Metro UK digital edition, March 14th, 2011, pages 6 & 7: disastrous news from Japan and Pokémon adverts
Metro UK digital edition, March 14th, 2011, pages 8 & 9

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

5 thoughts on “tact in advertising”

  1. Do you really think thats the way a free paper operates? That advertising will have been booked for months in advance, and thats exactly how the FREE paper survives, through advertising. There is nothing anyone at the Metro could have done.


    1. If it had happened the day after the earthquake, it would just have been unfortunate. This was several days later, though, which meant there was time to notify the advertiser and let them reconsider whether the campaign should be run as originally planned. I’m not suggesting that the ad campaign was devised to take advantage of the news situation, only that someone took a decision to go ahead and juxtapose those ads with that news.


  2. I remember when I was 10 back in 2011 and I saw a bus stop/bus shelter with a Snivy, and later on I saw the Metro newspaper with the “Pokemon Everywhere”.

    As a kid I was really fascinated, I literally wanted to take pictures of the newspaper – or at least preserve the newspaper – and the Snivy poster at the bus stop.

    Today I just realised what the Metro really did. Cheeky, messed up, I have no opinions.


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