Cranach banned on Underground

UXB's poster for the Royal Academy banned from London Underground.

It’s our job to create communications that are sensitive and insightful, inventive and appropriate. And we’ve been doing this for a long time so we know our onions. We are very good at our job and rarely get it completely wrong.

So you can imagine our surprise to learn that a poster we designed to advertise the exhibition of Lucas Cranach the Elder at the Royal Academy has been banned from being displayed on London Underground. The poster contravenes guidelines that state posters should not “depict men, women or children in a sexual manner, or display nude or semi-nude figures in an overtly sexual context”.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Academy said: “In this day and age it’s ludicrous that a painting that’s 500 years old can’t be used on a poster. If we thought it was offensive we wouldn’t have put it forward. Venus is painted in a very delicate way and the painting shows Cranach at his best”.

We think Londoners might welcome a dash of grace and elegance on journeys. It would provide a change of pace, a lift to the senses away from the visual litter calling us to eat more frozen food or try online dating.