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A dirty way to clean up

Plain English Campaign is sending the Keep Britain Tidy poster campaign straight to the bin where it belongs. The partly government-funded organisation of Keep Britain Tidy have chosen a poster campaign featuring sexual slang and innuendo as a way to promote health and environmental issues.


Plain English Campaign has been fighting for the past 30 years against poor public communications based purely on the use of jargon and unfamiliar language, rather than any moral or political issues. But public complaints received about this poster campaign from people of all ages and background have clearly found the language offensive and inappropriate.

Wording on the posters range from ‘trim my bush’ to ‘see the size of our Fanny’s’. Other posters refer to ‘Dirty pigs’, and another has a picture of ‘an attractive blonde girl on all fours with the caption “While you’re down there”.

Marie Clair, spokesperson for Plain English Campaign says, “This might be considered plain-talking by some, and humour is often a good way to get a message across, but most people who have seen can’t believe they are real. Others simply don’t understand what the slang references have to do with the serious issues of health and our environment. We advise the Keep Britain Tidy team to take their own advice and bin the filth.”

The explanation received by Plain English Campaign is that this is an old campaign aimed at young people to use the posters in their bedrooms. But since the material is still available on the Keep Britain Tidy website, Plain English Campaign have asked for it to be removed.

Chrissie Maher OBE, founder of Plain English Campaign says, ”As a woman, a grandmother and a tax-payer I am offended, disappointed and disgusted to find that such a worthy cause considers this language suitable for public information that is supposed to teach respect for our society.”

The poster materials can be seen by following this link.

In a further development to this story, our press officer was told by the BBC that they couldn't interview her on this subject because "The language referred to in the press release could contravene their offensive language guidelines"

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