Red Cross fury over no-smoking underpants
Sunday 05 September 1999
It has instructed its top lawyer to get its famous emblem removed from a picture of pair of underpants used in a sexual impotence campaign.
Hundreds of postcards, featuring a large pair of Y-fronts with a red cross across their centre, have been distributed to British cinemas to highlight the fact that smoking causes male sexual impotence.
But now the charity is demanding that the postcards be destroyed. It says the use of the red cross on the underpants postcard could threaten the lives of people on the battlefield.
A flurry of legal correspondence, between Ash, the anti-smoking lobby group that printed the postcards, and the Red Cross's head of international law has been flying between the two organisations in recent weeks.
The charity claims that its symbol has been violated. It says it has a duty to protect use of the red cross on a white background so that it is instantly recognised by people in trouble and in wars.
"The Red Cross emblem is owned by the Ministry of Defence. It can only be used by the emergency services, the military and the British Red Cross," said a British Red Cross spokesman. "The head of international law is the custodian of the emblem."
But Ash, whose campaign is backed by the British Medical Association, has disputed that the underpants image could be confused by soldiers and civilians seeking aid.
"The Red Cross believes people may die on the battlefield because of this. But the two images are quite distinct," said Clive Bates, director of Ash. "We have pointed out that underpants are quite distinct from a plain white background. For example, the walls in our office are plain white. You would notice the difference if they were decorated with an underpants motif."
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...
£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...
£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...
£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...