Investigations by Learnbonds.com have revealed that the London Underground is carrying 1,000s of junk food adverts through delivery firms despite an existing ban. In February 2019, the TFL alongside the mayor’s office banned junk food adverts across the London transport network in a bid to fight child obesity.
A spot check at the London Underground on Wednesday 4, 2020 revealed that there were junk food adverts from delivery service providers like Uber Eats and Just Eat. Across the tube, there are other adverts from KFC and McDonalds. According to the report:
“It is worth noting that TFL did not ban brands, but the foods they produce. Despite the HFSS foods ban, brands like McDonald’s, Just Eat and Deliveroo can still advertise an unhealthy diet and lifestyle even if their adverts did not feature any of the prohibited food items specifically.”
According to the TFL, the junk food ads ban affects food and drink brands, restaurants, takeaways and delivery services in a bid to promote healthier products.
The current adverts directly contravene TFL guidelines that state that before any food products are advertised on transport networks, there should be enough proof the product is not HFSS, or that an advertisement is not promoting HFSS products, or that there are exceptional grounds.
Since the ban came into effect a year ago, TFL and the mayor’s office have shown great inconsistency in adhering to the guidelines.
At some point, TFL has allowed advertising on junk food from KFC while blocking ads involving daily products like eggs and bacon.