Hit or Miss? Traders deploy a tank in protest against Bristol parking zone

Enraged by council plans to introduce a residents' parking zone, Bristol traders have taken to the city's streets in a 1942 Sherman tank to protest.

Taking to the streets: Bristol traders said resident parking zones would damage business
Taking to the streets: Bristol traders said resident parking zones would damage business

Talking to the BBC, organiser Tony Miles said the tank – which was hired from a Gloucestershire firm – represented "defending your territory", adding that the move "wasn't just about boys' toys" but aimed to convey a "serious message".

How I See It

Roberta Fuke, MD, Bray Leino PR

This is great idea for a stunt.

Plans for new resident-only parking zones in Bristol are causing tension, with traders adamant that implementation will damage business.

So, in a bid to defend their livelihoods, 25 tons of Sherman tank were unleashed on the historic streets of Bristol. 

It sounds like visual gold and the juxtaposition of the tank with beautiful architecture created impact, but the small placards (mostly illegible in photographs) and accompanying story failed to deliver the same big-hit result.

Ignoring the need for a true battle cry, the tank-prank team demanded a pause in the plans and requested more time for further consultation.

While this may well be the sensible solution, it left the copy a little weak compared with the visuals. Where were the big headline-grabbing stats and statements that would persuade the mayor to rethink?  

Certainly the stunt attracted media and passer-by attention. But, crucially, it failed to hit the mark in carrying through an equally powerful message that would stop the mayor in his tracks.

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