Sunday, April 12, 2009

BUS STORY # 128 (Show Us A Sign)

Resident New Mexican bus riders would have no trouble identifying the message on the bus side panel in the photo above as uniquely New Mexican. Nor would they have any trouble recognizing the sentiment – No green chile?! What do we do now? – even if they weren’t sure what it was supposed to be advertising.

They would also know this bus doesn’t look like any New Mexican transit bus they’ve ever seen around here – certainly not an ABQ RIDE, but also not a Las Cruces RoadRUNNER, not a Santa Fe Trails, not a Los Alamos Atomic City Transit. And they would be right.

It’s a London bus. In London. Just don’t ask me the manufacturer or model.

So what is this very localized New Mexican content doing on the side of a London bus?

The story began in October, when London news outlets broke a story about an unusual new bus advertising campaign. Here’s one of the buses with the controversial side panel:

You probably won’t be surprised to learn the ads were commissioned by an organized group of British atheists. I posted a link to the BBC story last November in This Week’s Feature. You can read it here.

This February, the Guardian reported a coalition of Christians was turning the other panel. Here’s the Guardian’s photo of the Christian response:

You can read the accompanying story here.

About the same time the Guardian published its story, I posted a link to a story in Boston about the T’s objection to Legal Seafood’s proposed ad campaign, and I was looking for the photos of the London campaign. I thought controversial bus advertisements might have bus story potential.

While googling for photos, I came across this one:

Even as I was laughing at this bit of cheeky wisdom, a part of me said, “Wait a minute, now. Are you sure this is real?” After all, even one bus side panel has to be beyond the means of the ordinary prankster. So I took another look at the page where the photo was being displayed, and I found this link:

And if you’ve clicked on this link and read what is there, you now know how that green chile message ended up on the side of a London bus.

Go play with the message generator. If you come up with something you really like, send it to If enough of you can make busboy laugh, I’ll post them in a bus story in a couple of weeks. Enjoy!

The second photo in this story is posted with the kind permission of Hanger 72. You can see this and all Hanger 72's photos on Flickr at:


Blogger Busboy said...

I received an email saying a reader wanted to submit a bus ad, but didn’t know how to send the photo from the bus generator site to So: if anyone else is on the same bus, send the lines to me. I’ll add them to the Bus Ad Generator and download the photo.

10:16 AM  

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