A polar bear on the tube? This isn't magic, it's sacrilege

That the bear is technically brilliant only fuels my objections

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The Independent Online

As far as this particular polar bear is concerned, global warming can’t come too soon. I’m talking about the animatronic polar bear that’s currently wandering around London as part of a blanket PR operation to promote a TV drama.

I don’t care that it’s technically brilliant and utterly lifelike – in fact the skill that went into its creation just fuels my objections. That commercial messages are being beamed at us constantly is something one learns to live with, and tries to ignore – the white noise of product placement. I’m not talking about advertising billboards on the sides of buildings, which have been around for centuries.

They are not the same as this polar bear. And they are not the same as a soft drink sponsoring the London Eye. And they are not the same as Regent Street’s Christmas lights being turned into an ad for a movie franchise. Is nowhere sacred? And where’s more sacred to us Londoners than the platform of a Tube station, which I’d like to be able to wander along without bumping into a polar bear that’s trying to sell me something, irrespective of whether London Underground made any money out of the deal.

Twitter: @SimonOHagan

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