Friday 16 January 2009 | Australia feed | All feeds


Atheist bus: 'Sleep in on Sunday morning' adverts banned

Atheist bus adverts celebrating the fact that non-believers get to "sleep in on Sunday morning" have been banned.

 of  Images
Atheist bus: 'Sleep in on Sunday morning' adverts banned
Professor Richard Dawkins on a bus displaying an atheist message in Kensington Gardens, London Photo: PA
Atheist bus: 'Sleep in on Sunday morning' adverts
The Uk's first ever atheist advertising campaigne launched on a bus, Tottenham Court Road, London Photo: PA

Secular groups in Australia wanted to put the posters on local public transport after being inspired by the campaign in Britain, which took to the streets this week after raising £140,000 in donations.

They hoped to put adverts on the back of buses with slogans stating "atheism – celebrate reason" or "atheism - sleep in on Sunday mornings".

But the proposed campaign was rejected by APN Outdoor, the country's biggest outdoor advertising company.

David Nicholls, president of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, said: "I am flabbergasted. This is extremely disappointing and a severe blow to freedom of expression in Australia.

"Australia is going to look provincial and narrow in outlook to the rest of the world because of this decision. The planet is moving to a more enlightened era but apparently, public transport advertising agents in Australia have missed the bus."

A similar plan for atheist bus adverts in Tasmania was thrown out by the state-owned bus company, Metro, which is set to lead to legal action on the grounds that it is discriminatory.

Metro has previously allowed adverts from religious groups including anti-abortion campaigners, but says it has now changed its policy to ban all material deemed controversial.

A spokesman said: "We try to apply it equitably to all people that wish to advertise on our buses."

Atheist adverts – stating "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" – have now been placed on 200 buses in London and 600 others around Britain, while different slogans will be put on 1,000 Tube trains from next week.

Secularist slogans were placed on buses in Washington DC last November, triggering hundreds of complaints and counter-campaigns by religious groups, while atheist buses will be launched in Barcelona on Monday.



How to survive a plane crash

US Airways Passenger Jet Crashes Into Hudson River, New York: How to survive a plane crash

Tim Jepson investigates the best ways to survive a plane crash, from choosing the right seat to avoiding smoke inhalation.


Sponsored Features

Breathing space with Virgin credit card

0% on balance transfers for 16 months (2.98% fee), 0% on purchases for 6 months. 16.6% typical APR variable

Get a fixed return on your savings

Anglo Irish Bank 1 year fixed rate bond: 4.60% gross/AER. Min. £500 investment. Invest here

Australia's Northern Territory

Hugh Jackman says the real star of his new film Australia is the landscape. Discover the Northern Territory here.


Pictures of the day

A Lego digital camera which will be available for purchase from the Lego website later this year, along with a working Lego MP3 player

Today: A literal hole in the wall, a Lego camera, and gorilla surgery.

Jet crashes into Hudson River

A US Airways flight crashed into the Hudson River in New York.

Prisoners box for freedom

Boxing inmates in Thailand prisons fight for the chance of freedom.

Sponsored Features

40 free prints with Photobox

New customers registering today will receive 40 prints for free. Order now.

50 Free Downloads

We've teamed up with eMusic to offer Telegraph readers the latest music downloads.

Wall-E - Best online deals

Best online deals

Our new daily pick of the web's best shopping deals.

How to survive a plane crash

What you need to know so you can live to tell the tale.

Four classic films on two DVDs, including The Eagle Has Landed, free inside the Telegraph this weekend.

Four free films

Four classic films on two DVDs, free inside the Telegraph this weekend.

Search thousands of opportunites in every sector.

Job search

Search thousands of opportunites in every sector.

Back to top


Archive Contact us Reader prints RSS feeds Subscribe and save Syndication Today's news

© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2009 Terms & Conditions of reading Commercial information Privacy and Cookie Policy.