Posters caught up in City of Culture storm

October 3, 2010 by  

Companies specialising in printing services in South Birmingham have found that their posters produced for the city’s bid to be crowned the UK’s City of Culture have been caught up in a controversy about the wording used on them. Birmingham’s bid for the title in 2013 was advertised on posters that were displayed on London’s Underground system and promoted the fact that Birmingham had been short listed for the competition. However, one of the judges of the bids, who would have been partly responsible for recommending the winner to the Government, had taken exception to the displays as she felt that the posters gave an impression of Birmingham as the winners of the title, even though the small print clarified that they had in fact been ‘short listed’ at that point.

The posters may have back fired as the panel member detailed her comments about Birmingham’s poster campaign to the bid panel’s chairman and Derry/Londonderry was crowned the eventual winners of the bid.

However, Martin Mullaney, a member of the Cabinet culture department and Lib Dem MP for Moseley and Kings Heath, defended the poster campaign as being an integral part of the city’s bid to become the City of Culture and that the aim of entering the contest had always been to raise Birmingham’s profile as a cultural destination for visitors. The council claimed that some 6.2 million people had seen their poster campaign and that economic benefits to the city of their bid outweighed the expenditure to the tax payer on the campaign.