A mob of thousands of Twitter users working from home rounded on Dettol today for launching an Underground advert that evokes nostalgia for the office and encourages people to return to work in London.
Many users colourfully expressed their objections to the advert from manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser which appears to suggest they should return to the office despite them being content to be at home for the foreseeable future during the pandemic.
They objected because they initially thought the Government was urging them to go back in despite them wanting to stay at home, but it later transpired that the advert was actually a Dettol campaign after the first picture of it cropped out their logo.
Dettol launched the campaign with Transport for London and Mayor Sadiq Khan as it rolled out more than 800 hand sanister units across 270 Underground stations.
The advert lists a number of reasons to go back into the office, such as ‘watercooler conversations’, ‘proper bants’, ‘not having to make lunch’ and ‘office gossip’.
The campaign first went viral when Twitter users misinterpreted a cropped photograph taken at Euston station, believing it was of a Government poster. The tweet at 11.45pm last night by Alegria Adedeji said: ‘They are gagging for us to return back to the office. ‘Second family’?’
Some Twitter users reacted to the initial post, appearing to direct their fury at the Government
Many social media users pointed out the similarities to the opening monologue in Trainspotting, and the book’s author Irvine Welsh himself tweeted: ‘Choose death’
The campaign first went viral last night when Twitter users misinterpreted a cropped photograph taken at Euston station, believing it was of a Government poster.
The tweet was posted at 11.45pm by marketing content manager Alegria Adedeji, who wrote: ‘They are gagging for us to return back to the office. ‘Second family’?’
Her post was retweeted more than 3,000 times and got more than 23,000 likes as many Twitter users rounded on the Government, thinking it was their advert.
But following a barrage of criticism aimed towards the Government, University of Nottingham content manager Maddy Potts pointed out the mistake at 8am today.
She tweeted: ‘This is undeniably awful but everyone seems to be attributing it to a Government campaign. Judging by the palette and that ‘little things we do / little things we love’ line… isn’t this a Dettol piece?’
Following a barrage of criticism aimed towards the Government overnight, University of Nottingham content manager Maddy Potts pointed out the mistake at 8am today. She tweeted: ‘This is undeniably awful but everyone seems to be attributing it to a Government campaign’
A further tweet by Independent picture editor ‘Jenny se quois’ at 10.18am this morning then revealed the full advert with Dettol branding, at Camden Town Tube station
A further tweet by Independent picture editor ‘Jenny se quois’ at 10.18am then revealed the full advert with Dettol branding, at Camden Town Tube station.
By 12.56pm today, Ms Adedeji tweeted in her defence: ‘It’s a Dettol advert, I thought the green made that obvious but people are tweeting like I’m a conspiracist who cropped for an agenda against the Government.
‘LMAO (laughing my a** off). No, it’s not that serious and they’re failing without my help. Glad to be helping the fall of late-stage capitalism though.’
Many social media users pointed out the similarities to the opening monologue in Trainspotting, and the book’s author Irvine Welsh himself tweeted: ‘Choose death’.
Another Twitter user said: ‘Cancel Dettol’, while a second added: ‘Dettol have lost their germ-free minds. I get the whole day to myself at home, Dettol.’
And a third tweeted: ‘Why go back to an office when i’m perfectly good at home? Ditch a better work life balance because Dettol says so? Naaaaaaah.’
Speaking about the campaign, Mr Khan said: ‘I’m really pleased that TfL and Dettol have teamed up to provide hand sanitiser to Tube passengers across the network.
‘It is vital that we all play our part in making public transport as safe as possible by using hand sanitiser points, wearing a face covering unless you are exempt, and travelling off-peak to enable better social distancing.’
The posters were launched as part of the marketing drive to get Britons back to work, which is also being pushed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week.
A passenger uses a hand sanitising unit at London Kings Cross Underground station today
Dettol and TfL launched 800 sanitiser units across the London Underground network today
A woman walks up the steps next to a hand sanitising unit at London Kings Cross this morning
A woman uses a hand sanitising unit at London Kings Cross Underground station this morning
Dettol said today that it ‘is committed to help get the nation moving – and part of that, providing reassurance across the London Underground network’.
Reckitt Benckiser UK manager Susan Egstrand said: ‘We know that Dettol has a meaningful role to play in disinfection and helping limit the spread of the virus.
‘We are incredibly proud to have partnered with TfL to ensure Londoners getting back on the move, can do so with sanitised hands through access to over 800 Dettol hand sanitiser units.
‘It may seem simple, but these small habits really are huge acts of care and protection in helping stop the spread of illness causing germs.’
Transport for London launched a marketing campaign called Now’s The Time last month
One of the ‘Now’s The Time’ posters on the Transport for London network, pictured at Marylebone station yesterday, urges people to ‘get a workout on your way to lunch’
TfL launched a campaign called Now’s The Time last month, encouraging people to ‘get a workout on your way to lunch’ and ‘stretch your legs on your way to the pub’.
It asked the Government for a £4.5billion bailout after its revenue plummeted by 90 per cent and it quickly burned through its £2billion reserves during lockdown.
TfL has asked passengers using buses and Tubes to travel at quieter times outside the peak hours of 6.30am to 9.30am and 4pm to 7pm to help maintain social distancing.
Its Streetspace for London plan brought in temporary walking and cycling lanes, with more than 28 miles of new or upgraded cycle lanes built or under construction.