A camping company has been left red-faced after an advert with the slogan ‘No poles required!’ appeared NEXT to a UKIP poster.
The billboards went up side by side as the right-wing party launches a publicity blitz across the UK ahead of next month’s European elections.
Their campaign poster declaring ‘Take back control of our country’ found right next to the huge roadside ad for the Go Outdoors camping firm.
Charity worker Willie Dunn, 45, who spotted the unfortunate juxtaposition, said: “I almost crashed the car when I saw it.
“I think it’s coincidental that the posters are side by side.
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“People will look at it and ask themselves ‘which one is actually the UKIP poster?’
“In isolation the camping advert is fine, but if you put it next to the UKIP poster it becomes quite sinister.
“They want to reduce immigration, but I don’t think UKIP are organised enough to pull something like this off.”
Others said putting the two ads next to each other on Lower Granton Road in Edinburgh was “insensitive”.
Local SNP councillor Steve Cardownie, said the gaffe was “too dangerous to be funny”.
He said: “It’s insensitive – the juxtaposition to have the signs side by side.
“People might think it’s funny but it’s the kind of message UKIP are trying to get over.
“You would have thought somebody would have the presence of mind to realise what message it’s putting over.
“When it comes to questions of immigrant workers we have to be very careful. It does send out the wrong message.
“It’s too close to home with UKIP – it’s unfortunate. Some might think it’s funny but it’s too dangerous to be funny.”
He added: “I would urge the tent company to do what they can to repair matters as soon as possible.
“They might consider contacting the company that owns the billboards to ask that the posters be replaced.”
Local Labour councillor Vicki Redpath said: “It’s probably a stupid mistake where someone hasn’t thought about the consequences.”
A UKIP spokesman said: “Of course there is no deliberate intent and I do not believe people are getting upset.
“I think people will look at it with a wry smile. The posters are two completely different things juxtaposed by accident.
“We do not control what goes on the poster site next to our poster. It’s a peculiar thing even to suggest.”
A spokesman for Clear Channel, who are responsible for the billboards, said: “The posters were put up at the same time.
“We can understand why people would make the connection, but at the same time one is for an election campaign on European bureaucracy and the other is an advert for camping supplies.
“As a media owner it is not our role to censor, so we operate with a presumption of allowing people to exercise the freedom to advertise responsibly.”