20th Nov, 2018

Youngster asks mum what word 'porno' means after seeing it on billboard near primary school

CONCERNS have been raised by a mum whose daughter asked what the word ‘porno’ meant after seeing it on a billboard near her school.

The furious mum was taking her eight-year-old daughter to Coten End School in Warwick, when the youngster pointed out the sign and asked what the word meant.

The billboard was advertising the comedy podcast spin-off show ‘My Dad Wrote a Porno’ – which recently performed live at Warwick Arts Centre. The sign was situated on Coventry Road near the railway bridge.

The mum-of-two told the Observer: “It shouldn’t be a conversation I have to have with an eight-year-old, I shouldn’t have to explain. It’s a safeguarding issue.

“I know it’s just a word but the location is not suitable for such a massive sign. It’s a high traffic area where lots of kids will be in cars.

“What if children were to go home and search online for it? It would bring up all kinds of stuff parents don’t want them to see.”

Promotional organisation Avalon – which is responsible for the advert design – has apologised for the board and say it will soon be removed.

A spokeswoman said: “The artwork we supplied was approved by a media agency which owns the billboard displaying it. In all cases where media agencies have flagged sensitivities regarding the said ad, we have supplied an alternative version omitting the word which could potentially cause offence.

“We apologise for the upset caused and should the show revisit Warwick Arts Centre again in the future, we will absolutely take in to consideration the proximity of a primary school when discussing advertising plans with agencies.

“The ad will be taken down over the next few days.”

A spokesman for the Arts Centre said the venue knew nothing about the billboard but following the complaint had asked Avalon to take the sign down by Sunday – the day after the show.

Despite this, the billboard was still there some days later.

But Saltisford ward councillor John-Paul Bromley believed the advert was harmless and said his own ten-year-old son did not appear to notice the word as they drove past.

He said: “My child hears terms and words at school from his playground mates and will pick up words and quotes from newspapers, TV and online clips far more explicit than the offending poster.

“At their age you can not give a direct honest answer, you have to manage your response. As you would when a child overhears an adult conversation and asks you what a word or term means.

“As parents we have to take responsibility and manage their learning environment in the adult world.

“The wording on the billboard may be slightly offensive but as it is written in italics it makes it difficult to read for young children.”

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