Southern Rail email leak orders managers to destroy 'strike back' posters

Rebecca Smith
The ill-advised campaign in question
The ill-advised campaign in question

An email has leaked from Southern Rail bosses claiming its controversial “strike back” campaign posters should be “removed from display and destroyed immediately”.

The message with “URGENT” in the subject line said that due to the “extremely negative public sentiment around the brand it has been decided to cancel this poster campaign”. It requested that all copies be removed from display and destroyed immediately.

The campaign had asked passengers to tweet the RMT union and tell it how rail strikes made them feel, suggesting the hashtag of #SouthernBackonTrack. It backfired quite spectacularly as Twitter users responded angrily.

A spokesperson for Southern Rail said:

We continue to run the campaign as can be clearly seen by the press ads that are running all week.

Feelings were running high after day one of the campaign and we decided, having taken on board comments from some passengers, not to display the posters at stations.

But we make no apologies for this campaign – our aim was to get the debate going and let people know the truth that our plans to modernise the railway will guarantee jobs, pay and safety and keep a second member of staff on board all the trains where we currently have conductors.

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