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Advertising Association blasts looming TfL junk food ad ban

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

November 22, 2018 | 3 min read

The Advertising Association (AA) has hit out at London mayor Sadiq Khan's plans to ban junk food advertising on the tube and buses.

Junk Food TfL

Junk Food to be banned from TfL

New restrictions on the advertising of high fat, salt and sugar products are expected to be confirmed by Transport for London on Friday (23 November). The move is intended to curb the "ticking timebomb" of childhood obesity in the capital according to mayor Khan.

But Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the Advertising Association, argued there was "no clear evidence" that the ban would solve the problem.

He said: "We all want to see rates of childhood obesity dropping but believe there are far better ways to achieve this goal.

“Not only will this measure fail to achieve the end goal of reducing childhood obesity, but it will also damage businesses in our capital and reduce TfL’s income from advertising, with the potential of putting increased pressure on commuters through higher fares.

"At the same time, it is missing the opportunity of using advertising’s support to solve the problem in a more effective way. There has been little interest to date from the mayor’s office in working together with industry to proactively tackle this important issue; however, we remain ready to work with the mayor’s office in a constructive way.”

The mayor is expected to press ahead with the ban despite some estimates suggesting it will cost TfL £13.3m a year in lost advertising revenue.

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