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Anger as Chalcots towers are airbrushed out of slick Sky Mobile iPhone TV ad

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 19 October 2018

The Sky Mobile advert, filmed in the Swiss Cottage Open Space, which has had the Chalcots airbrushed from it.

The Sky Mobile advert, filmed in the Swiss Cottage Open Space, which has had the Chalcots airbrushed from it.

Archant

Sky Mobile has been accused of “social cleansing in an advert” after the Chalcots Estate, which was evacuated due to flammable cladding last year, was airbrushed out of a new advert for the Apple IPhone Xs.

Residents leave the Taplow tower block on the Chalcots Estate in Camden, London, as the building is evacuated in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire to allow "urgent fire safety works" to take place.Residents leave the Taplow tower block on the Chalcots Estate in Camden, London, as the building is evacuated in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire to allow "urgent fire safety works" to take place.

The advert, starring actress Lily James, shows two people rollerskating together on the Swiss Cottage Open Space. But in the background the Chalcots towers, which dominate the skyline in Swiss Cottage, are nowhere to be seen. The advert, which is part of the Hello Possible campaign, was produced by Outsider TV.

Simon Happily, who lives in Bray tower, was watching ITV’s Vanity Fair on Sunday night when he noticed the digital alteration.

“My mum had told me a week ago about the advert, and said she wasn’t sure if it was a park near us – but it wasn’t until I saw it on TV at the weekend when I realised it was Swiss Cottage.

“They’ve kept other buildings in, such as the privately owned Visage Apartments, but the social tenants and leaseholders in the Chalcots have been airbrushed out. It’s social cleansing in an advert.”

Sky Mobile say it has removed buildings throughout the Hello Possible advertising campaign, not just in the advert set in Swiss Cottage.

The Chalcots were evacuated in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster in July last year, when its cladding was found to be flammable. The flammable cladding added to towers across the country was partially done to improve its appearance in the surrounding area.

Since the evacuation, residents have faced months of uncertainty and misery as the cladding has been removed, and now the curtain wall and windows also need to be replaced.

Simon, who has lived on the estate for more than 25 years, said he was “angry” about the alteration. He has cancelled his NowTV subscription, which is run by Sky, and said he won’t consider buying an Apple product.

“It’s a community space, and they’ve visited and removed the community from the advert,” said Simon.

A Sky spokesperson said: “Blue skies are a key element of Sky Mobile’s advertising campaign and, in line with standard industry practice, we occasionally remove certain buildings, signs and billboards to reveal more of the skyline in our advertisements.

“The creative decision was not particular to this location and certainly didn’t intend to cause any offence.”

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