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How Anthill got banned from select newsagents



Anthill celebrates its 6th birthday this week. To celebrate, we’re taking a stroll down memory lane, beginning with one our most memorable blunders… The case of the invisible ‘f’.

aa25_cover_220xemailWe’ve committed our fair share of howlers over the past six years.

We’ve misplaced ads, misspelt names, even unwittingly quoted a dead person (don’t ask).

But, as we were putting to bed our issue 25 cover, which carried the headline “SHIfT HAPPENS”, we were pretty sure we’d struck a suitable balance between good taste and irreverent Anthillian whimsy.

So we were slightly bemused when, a week or two after issue 25 hit the shelves, a few readers conveyed their sudden disapproval of Anthill – via the occasional email, some terse unsubscriptions from our free email newsletter and a handful of newsagents who sent their retail allocations of issue 25 back to the distributor.

One newsagent gave us the reason that, well, he “hated” us.

We were ready to chalk it down as one for the ages, until I breezed past this “Shift Happens” cover a few weeks later and it hit me: red on brown. Colour-blind people often can’t see red! It looks like brown.

According to the Victorian Government’s Better Health website, colour blindness occurs in approximately eight percent of Australian males and only about 0.4 percent of Australian females, which means there is an excellent chance that hundreds of readers did not see the little red cursive “f” in SHIfT.

We’re horrified to think that many of our readers may still believe we sent out an issue screaming “SHIT HAPPENS” on the cover – nothing to do with profanity (there’s a time a place for almost any word), but because it would have represented a decidedly un-Anthillian lack of imagination and wit.

So to any colour-blind readers, please forgive us. We’ll never use red on brown again, which demonstrates that shift definitely does happen.

Read the full article, that inspired the cover.