Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 15:00, 31 March 2014 |
Updated: 08:36, 01 April 2014
A students' union has apologised and pulled a controversial poster featuring a photo of a lone woman, after a wave of outrage.
Kent Union, based at the University of Kent in Canterbury, plastered the posters around campus to promote its annual Party in the Car Park summer ball in June.
The offending flyer shows a woman standing on her own in a dark car park, with the caption "someone will lose their friends".
But some students have reacted with disgust to the poster, which they say perpetuates rape culture.
History and drama student Bethany Taylor, 20, who is also Kent Union's Women's Campaign officer, was among those to call for its withdrawal.
She said: "When I first saw it, I was disgusted. I think it's really harrowing for women students in particular who may have been attacked or had a bad experience on campus.
"It perpetuates the message that it might not have happened if they hadn't become separated from their friends, which is victim-blaming.
"A lot of students, both male and female, find it quite disturbing. The picture was also used without the consent of the girl featured. It only shows her body, which objectifies her."
Dozens of others took to Twitter to blast the baffling marketing campaign, including student Kate Wilson who unwittingly features in the poster.
Kent Union has since removed the poster and apologised that people had "misinterpreted" its meaning.
In a statement, the union said: "We would like to sincerely apologise to the students that have been offended by one of the posters we have designed to promote this year's Party in the Car Park.
"It was never our intention for the poster and its message to be interpreted in this way.
"The concept behind our marketing of the event is to use real photographs taken last year combined with factual statements provided by students.
"We can confirm that the poster has been removed and will not be used within any further marketing.
"In the future, we will check our designs with relevant people to ensure they cannot be interpreted in a different way."
It is not the first time Kent Union has caused controversy with misguided marketing.
Last month, it sparked outrage by using a poster of murderous tyrant Joseph Stalin to promote its upcoming leadership elections.
The portrait of the evil dictator – complete with cartoon googly eyes – appeared on notices plastered across the Canterbury campus.
They were used to plug a week of political events called Campus Takeover, in the build up to an election next month to find five new paid staff members for the Kent Union.
But some students questioned the need to use a picture of the former Soviet Union ruler, whose regime of terror caused the death and suffering of tens of millions of people.
Stories you might have missed
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.