Woman blasts Transport Police and Network Rail's sexist advert

Commuter blasts Network Rail poster warning revellers not to ‘regret’ drinking on a night out for ‘slut shaming and victim blaming’ – even though firm insists it’s an accident prevention message for BOTH sexes

  • Fleur Bone, from London, shocked by advert she called ‘sexist’ at King’s Cross 
  • Advert warns women to not drink too much and to stay safe on the railway 
  • Said ad, produced by British Transport Police and Network Rail, was slut shaming

A furious commuter has slammed Network Rail over a ‘sexist’ poster spotted next to the ladies’ loos at King’s Cross Station that she claims threatens and ‘slut-shames’ women for enjoying a night out.

Fleur Bone, 34, from London, was left ‘p***** off’ after noticing the advert as she travelled through the London train station on her way from her home in Hackney to meet her sister earlier this month.

The ad – produced by British Transport Police and Network Rail – shows a woman in a busy bar, holding a cocktail and singing karaoke with a man by her side.

The image is sandwiched between two warnings that read ‘Having a few drinks? Make sure losing your voice is the only thing you’ll regret tomorrow’ and ‘Stay safe around the railway or you might regret it’.

The 34-year-old TV producer, who interpreted the advert as a warning to women to be on their guard against sexual assault, blasted the advert as an example of ‘casual sexism’ and victim blaming. 

Both British Transport Police and Network Rail apologised for any offence caused and said the poster has been removed, acknowledging that the campaign – intended to prevent accidents on the network after drinking – did not ‘get the [intended] message across clearly’. 

The advert was part of a Christmas campaign that aimed to warned people about the dangers of being intoxicated on the railway and to stay safe 

Fleur also branded the ad ‘sinister’ because she believes it threatens women who might be heading on a night out or enjoying a drink and might upset sexual offence victims.

She said: ‘It made me angry. It’s a thing you see isn’t it, an advert of a woman drinking having a nice time but insinuating it could all go wrong for her and it would all be her fault.

‘So it p****d me off and I took a picture of it.

‘The tone was quite threatening and as I said, sort of slut-shaming as like you drink too much you might go home with this guy and probably regret it.

Fleur Bone, 34, pictured, from London, blasted British Transport Police and Network Rail for a 2019 advert she spotted by the women’s bathrooms at King’s Cross station telling women to ‘stay safe on the railway or you’ll regret it’ 

Fleur shared her grievances on social media, where she called out BTP and Network Rail for the advert, adding it was everyday sexism 

‘When I saw it and from what it said I assumed it was an advert suggesting women shouldn’t drink too much otherwise they’ll be taken advantage of.

‘As per usual the onus being put on women to not drink rather than men to not take advantage.

‘The specific threat is that if you’re a woman, and you dare to drink, and not stay 100 per cent alert all the time, you’re responsible for any harm that befalls you, such as sexual offences.

‘I think a victim of sexual assault seeing that advert would not feel great. The ad is sinister.’

The advert was produced in 2019, and the poster spotted by Fleur had not been removed. BTP and Network Rail both apologised for the offence it caused  

Fleur, pictured, said the advert made it sound like women were responsible for the bad things that happened to them. She said it was hard to interpret the poster as anything but a threat aimed at women 

‘For me, it felt like blaming women rather than blaming people who hurt women.’

Fleur sarcastically heralded British Transport Police for the ad by tweeting ‘nice work on keeping women safe’.

A BTP spokesperson said: ‘This poster was created as part of a joint awareness campaign with Network Rail for the 2019 Christmas period. The campaign aim was to highlight the dangers of being intoxicated on the railway, as a result of spikes in alcohol-related injuries at this time.

‘We acknowledge how this could have been otherwise interpreted, and the posters were immediately removed from circulation in December 2019.

Fleur, pictured, said she didn’t understand the message from the advert, which BTP and Network Rail have claimed aimed to warn people not to be careful on the railway platforms after a night out

‘The poster at King’s Cross station has now been removed, and we apologise for any offence it caused.’

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: ‘The intention of this poster was to highlight the dangers of being intoxicated around the railway.

‘We – along with our campaign partners at BTP – decided to withdraw the poster after feedback showed the image did not get this message across clearly.

‘It has now been removed from the station and we’re sorry for any offence the poster has caused.’

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