London Underground advert by Farmdrop rejected for containing bacon and butter

Josh Peachey's picture
by Josh Peachey

Towards the end of February, the Mayor of London’s proposed ban on advertising junk food on transport came into force - but how well is it being enforced?

An advert for online supermarket Farmdrop was rejected because it had bacon, butter and eggs in it, as well as a wide range of other foods.

Under the new Transport for London (TfL) rules, foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt are now not allowed to feature in advertisements on public transport.

In a blog post, Farmdrop says that “While the ban is coming from the right place, it’s handling has been clumsy. We know this because our latest campaign on the tube network has been rejected. Why? Because our Farmdrop posters include so-called ‘junk foods’.”

This is the advert photo that Farmdrop submitted to TfL

A spokesperson from Farmdrop continued: “Naturally, we were pretty shocked that a picture of some fresh groceries with a healthy mixture of fruits and vegetables, dairy, eggs and cupboard staples would flout TfL’s new junk food rules. But it turns out that TfL score foods individually according to a nutrient profiling model created by the Government. 

“It’s a pretty crude measure and means that foods you would still think of as junk, like fizzy drinks with artificial sweeteners or low-fat fried foods, could in some scenarios comply with the new regulations.”

Below is the image that was eventually accepted by TfL, with the bacon and butter cropped out.

TfL said: "Our advertising policy requires brands to demonstrate that any food or drink products featured in advertisements running on our network are not high in fat, sugar and salt, unless they have been granted an exception," the BBC reported.

"In this case, Farmdrop chose not to apply for an exception and our advertising agent worked with them to amend the advertisement."