A road safety ad ‘THINK!’ for the U.K. Department for Transportation is being accused of victim-blaming in for blaming cyclists for being hit by trucks making left turns—the driver’s blind side on that country’s roads.
The montage shows scenarios of ‘thing you shouldn’t get caught between’ including two boxers, rams, a piano falling from the sky, butcher’s cleaver, a girl whacking a piñata and a cowboy shootout. The light-hearted tone becomes more sinister once cycler appears, jockeys for position with a truck (lorry), which crushes him against the road and kills him in the end.
The ad ends with “Don’t get caught between a lorry and a left turn”.
British cycling advocates are accusing the spot, created by agency AMV BBDO, of placing the blame on the wrong party. Instead it should be urging drivers of trucks to be more careful when turning left.
Many of the criticisms seem to center on the claim that the truck in the video overtakes the cyclist to make the turn—an interpretation that’s not immediately clear, or indisputable, as the cyclist seems to pass the truck while they approach the turn, then fall behind
- @THINKgovuk gee. Imagine if that lorry had held back and not overtaken before left hooking that cyclist. As the law requires. Imagine.
- @THINKgovuk desperately misguided campaign that a) tries to make death fun b) vulnerable road user responsible for vehicle not fit for road
- @baroncols @THINKgovuk this is quite a bizarre. how is it the cyclist’s responsibility? a lorry overtook me then turned left and squashed me
- @ASA_UK This is formal complaint about advert today by @THINKgovuk -Lorry driver passes person cycling then turns into him. Victim blaming.
- @Chris_Boardman @CallumSkinner @THINKgovuk a) Use of comical noises unnecessary b) they’re laying entire blame of every death on the cyclist
- @Chris_Boardman @CallumSkinner @THINKgovuk and c) the lorry is overtaking the cyclist when reaching junction.
- Truck overtakes cyclist and turns left across him, and this awful road safety advert blames the cyclist.
“Any death on the road is a tragedy, and all road users have a responsibility to make our roads safer by being more vigilant,” said a spokesperson, reports the London Evening Standard. “We want to protect vulnerable road users by raising awareness of specific dangers, and research shows that a large number of road incidents involving cyclists are with lorries at junctions. The THINK! road safety campaign is aimed at cyclists, motorists and [heavy goods vehicle] drivers, and they all have a role to play in improving safety.”
Agency: AMV BBDO
Creative Directors: Steve Jones / Martin Loraine
Creatives : Nick Hurley / Nadja Lossgott
Agency Producer: Greg Kates
Production Company: Bold Company
Director: Tom Haines
Producer: Dave Knox
DP: David Procter
1st Ad: James Amos Production
Designer: Marco Puig
Costume Designer: Natalie Willis
Camera Equipment: MovieTech Lighting Equipment:
Panalux Editor: Dan Sherwen / Paul Moth