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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Adless Tube Carriages?

OK, who's the joker on the District Line? This morning I got onto a surprisingly ad-free carriage and just assumed that the ads were being replaced. With a closer look there was a sticker on every other space with a message supposedly from TfL:

Adless Tube Carriages

"As part of TfL's £10 billion investment program London Underground are removing all adverts from trains to improve the ambience of carriages and the overall travelling experience of passengers"
It's a good spoof, but it's a spoof for the following reasons:

1. Although the tone has that bland corporate "announcement" feel, I think it's unlikely that TfL would refer to the ads as "adverts" in this case - I'm sure they would say "advertisements".
2. When would TfL turn down the opportunity to receive so much cash? £61.3 million from advertising revenue in 2006/7 - although what proportion is from Tube carriages I've no idea.
3. When have TfL ever cared about ambience in Tube carriages? We'd have piped musak, mood lighting and free cocktails if they did.
4. TfL putting a greater overall travelling experience over profit beggers belief.
5. I changed onto a Piccadilly line train which was full of the usual ads.

However, perhaps TfL were responsible. With a bit of searching it seemed to be part of the "Buy Nothing Day" - which took place on Saturday apparently. A team of people turned all the ads in District Line carriages the other way around and stuck stickers on them. "The team we saw doing it were very quick, managing to swap around entire carriages of adverts in less than the time it took the train to travel one stop." said a Space Hijacker.

TfL decoration team in action?

Although the Indy Media report suggests it was endorsed by TfL I'm not so sure. Would the TfL decoration team really look like the bunch of students above? Any other thoughts and theories most welcome.


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