Earlier this month, an advertisement for Illumination Entertainment’s film, The Grinch, was plastered across the outer walls of the British Film Institute IMAX theater in Waterloo. The building, which sits in the middle of a traffic roundabout, featured two different images depending on which side you were on. Both sides depict the Grinch’s frowning, unamused face, with one side reading “Welcome to South London. This is your last chance to turn around.” While it’s opposing counterpart reads “You are now heading north of the river. Try to contain your excitement.”

These are the two opposing sides of the advertisement, as seen adorning the walls of the BFI Imax

Though it is clearly a play on the Grinch’s infamous grouchy demeanor and disdain for everyone but himself, the advertisement sparked outrage for some London residents who believed the advertisement promoted classist and racist stereotypes:

It appears that a sense of humor has won out in this debate, as there are far more responses to Asfa that are critical of his claim than there are supporting it. Many London residents dismissed these claims as ridiculous, with some claiming that Asfa was being overtly sensitive and missing the point of the ad:

The unamused, somewhat insulting tone of the ad is a consistent feature of the customized marketing campaign for The Grinch. In the United States, billboards across the nation have popped up with insults from the Grinch, in locations such as Los Angeles (“Oh, you’re trying to make it in Hollywood? Let me know how it goes.”), New York (“I could watch you crawl down the LIE [Long Island Expressway] all day.”), and Chicago (“I’ve seen windier cities.”).

The ad campaign, while not racist or classist, has proven to be effective: the film topped the charts it’s opening weekend with a $67.6 million box office take. As of writing, the film has pulled in $216 million worldwide against a $75 million budget, making it a rousingly successful release for Illumination Entertainment.

  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.

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