By Max Clarke
The London Assembly today branded the decision to sell advertising space on Tubes and buses to a loan company known to charge 2689% APR irresponsible.
Assembly Members called on the Mayor to publish a robust code of ethics for sponsorship and advertising to more closely regulate the types of advertising that can appear on public transport.
Jennette Arnold AM, who proposed the amended motion, said:
“These adverts offering quick cash can be very tempting to the vulnerable and desperate, but can lead to people finding themselves in serious financial difficulty if they can’t meet the very challenging repayment terms. I believe the Mayor as the Chair of TfL should publish a robust code of ethics that forbids advertising for this type of service on the transport network."
Darren Johnson AM, who seconded the motion, said:
“There have been instances in the past where Transport for London has refused specific adverts on moral or ethical grounds, but it needs to set out more clearly exactly what is and isn’t acceptable. As the owner of the advertising space, TfL has a duty to uphold certain standards.”
The full text of the amended motion reads as follows:
"This Assembly deplores Mayor Boris Johnson's recent decision to sell prime-time advertising space on London's Buses and Tubes to a Loan Company known for charging 2689% APR. Consumers can easily get into difficulties using these kinds of loans to cover debts, and when unable to repay in a timely fashion the interest rates and fines can be punitive. The Assembly believes it is irresponsible for politicians and public organisations to be endorsing these services, particularly at a time of year when many Londoners are vulnerable to getting into further debt, and when there are other services that offer Londoners a much safer route out of debt.
This Assembly calls on the Mayor to publish a robust code of ethics for sponsorship and advertising.”