As I was making my way through Liverpool Street Station this morning, several hundred people were dancing on the main concourse…. it could have been a flash mob but it wasn’t… for those who don’t know, a flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, then disperse… It turned out a T-Mobile ad was being filmed. By lunchtime there were reports of this stage-managed media event in the British national press:
“There are many ways to kill time while waiting for your train – read a paper, grab a sandwich . . . break into a synchronised dance?
“It certainly got the attention of commuters at Liverpool Street Station, as 400 strangers – including tourists and Underground staff – suddenly leaped into action, busting out a co-ordinated mix of hip-hop, disco and ballroom moves right in the middle of the London station.
“The dance was an example of ‘flash mob’, which occurs when people arrange to meet at a certain place and time to carry out a quirky action, before disbanding minutes later.
“Flash mobbing is seen as an anarchic, freedom-of-expression act, although this one was organised by T-Mobile for an advert which will debut on Channel 4 and YouTube tomorrow.”
This definitely wasn’t a flash mob because the filming was still going on when I returned to Liverpool Street station an hour later. Coming back I noticed a sign that claimed if I went into the area being used to fabricate the ad, I had consented to being filmed… Not so, since I hadn’t seen this sign until after I’d been through the station once, and besides which not everybody can read English… Liverpool Street station is a public space and a lot of people have no choice about using it if they need to catch the tube or an overground train. Therefore I’m using this blog to notify T-Mobile that I have not given my consent to appearing in their advert. If T-Mobile want to use footage that shows me I expect to be paid: I want a 1K (a grand, £1000) for every second or fraction of a second used that shows me from any angle (including my back)….. and a further 1K per day for every day after tomorrow in which the advert is either shown on TV or left up on YouTube or used in any other public way.
The production of adverts such as this around London often pisses me off. A few years ago I was making my way back home around midnight and was grabbed by some guys who told me they were filming a car advert and I wasn’t allowed to walk where I was headed. I told them I lived in the block of flats they were trying to prevent me from approaching and that they could fuck off. The wankers who’d manhandled me had to stop filming while I went into the block. Advertising, it’s the antithesis of a groove sensation!
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – http://www.stewarthomesociety.org/ – you know it makes (no) sense!