The Egged transportation company has barred ads bearing a depiction of an extra-terrestrial from being featured on company buses in Jerusalem, for fear that the peculiar advertisement may be offensive to some passengers.
The ad campaign, produced by Kiddum — a company that offers psychometric preparation courses for future university students — features an image of a harmless-looking alien with the sentences “Advanced intelligence discovered on Earth” and “They are like us, only more advanced” written beneath him. The campaign aims to convince youngsters that Kiddum graduates are able to produce exceptional, ‘unearthly’ scores on their exams.
The ad series was launched a short while ago and was run in many major cities across Israel, including Jerusalem. Egged, however, decided to pull the ad from buses in the capital because they deemed the picture of the creature from outer space offensive to ultra-Orthodox travelers.
The Cnaan advertising company, which handles advertising for the Egged bus company, explained that Egged had decided to nix images of all people — male, female — and apparently non-humans as well, from its campaigns on Jerusalem buses.
“According to the concession agreement between Egged and the Cnaan company, characters may not be featured at all in Jerusalem, and that is why the campaign was not approved by Egged,” a spokesperson for the company said.
Ads with photos of women, and more recently men, have gradually disappeared from advertisements on buses in Jerusalem over the past years, and activists say there has been a similar, though less dramatic, trend in cinema advertisements. The advertising companies have said they are afraid of vandalism by religious extremists, and of hurting people’s feelings as a result of posting pictures of women.