Public Advertisements “Censored” in Utrecht

14 April 2012

A poster displayed in a primarily Muslim neighbourhood of Utrecht which depicts a woman in a short, strapless dress has been covered over. A black plastic bag has been taped atop the posters, which are promotional material for the city’s museum weekend. A message on the bag reads, “La ilahe il Allah- No Sexually Tinted Advertising In Our Suburbs. Stand Up And Fight Against This Case To Protect Our Children!” A second poster depicting a woman in a bikini was also covered briefly.

While the event prompted reactions online and PVV leader Wilders raised the event in parliament, reaction in the neighbourhood have been mixed. Radio Netherlands Worldwide quotes local Muslim residents with a range of reactions, including Muslim women whose attention had not been attracted by the posters or their covers, and others who see no use in the move to cover the image.

Controversy over female bodies in public campaigns has circulated in the Netherlands before, as when feminist and also religious organizations objected to lingerie and other advertising posters in 2010.