FOI request detail

HFSS Advertising Ban

Request ID: FOI-2288-1920
Date published: 28 November 2019

You asked

I'm interested in getting information on advertisements that have been disallowed since the TfL's advertising guidelines changed in February. Here is a link for reference - In particular, I'm interested in how many advertisements have been banned relating to points d, p and q under section 2.3. I would also be interested in how much revenue these disallowed advertisements would have brought in. I am also interested in a breakdown of advertisements that have been disallowed under these clauses and why the decision was made. Finally, if I could just get a general number of how many advertisements have been disallowed in the past 12 months and how much revenue this would have raised that would be great.

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-2288-1920

Thank you for your request received on 31 October 2019 asking for information about the advertisements refused under our policy restricting advertisements featuring food and drink products high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS).
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we hold some of the information you require.
The majority of advertisements that have been declined since the introduction of the HFSS policy in February 2019 were received from advertising agencies and did not include campaign details, such as the number of sites. This means that we are not able to ascertain the financial value of the campaigns. Additionally, other adverts which came via media agencies were generally part of larger campaigns, so although one ad may have been rejected, others were approved to run, so there would have been no financial impact. We do not hold information on where campaigns or products were rejected but were subsequently replaced by others.
20 advertisements were declined between February and November 2019. 11 of those advertisements were rejected under clause 2.3(p) as they contained items that could not be identified as non-HFSS. Seven advertisements were rejected under 2.3(q) as being unacceptable due to other substantial reason, of which six were due to policy review and one was for encouraging unsafe behaviour. Two campaigns were also rejected 2.3(d) relating to body image.
With regards to the last 12 months, we have declined a total of 24 advertisements.
11 adverts under clause 2.3(p) – HFSS
7 under clause 2.3(q) unacceptable due to other substantial reason
2 under clause 2.3(m) it could affect the interests of TfL
2 under clause 2.3(d) body image
2 under 2.3(b) contains adults displayed in an overtly sexual nature.
As these individual adverts were not booked we do not have any financial information as we do not request this when reviewing copy. In addition there may not be any financial impact as some clients will submit a revised image to enable it to run on our network.
If this is not the information you are looking for please feel free to contact me.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]

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