Junk food advertising ban in London – could Bristol follow suit?

Adblock Bristol are calling on Bristol Council to take tougher measures against outdoor advertising after London’s Mayor Sadiq Kahn proposed a ban on junk food advertising on its transport network.

See Bristol Post article here.

Robbie Gillett from Adblock Bristol said,
“The moves by the London Mayor are an important first step in acknowledging the negative social impacts that outdoor advertising can have on us – and Bristol should take note. Whether it’s junk food, new polluting cars or photoshopped models trying to sell us products, we should be taking collective action against outdoor advertising to address issues of obesity, air quality, debt, consumerism and mental health problems.”

He continued,

“Advertisers are applying for more and more digital ad screens to be introduced to our streets. But we need to reduce the amount of corporate advertising in the city – not add more. We’re calling on Bristol Council to review the social, environmental and economic impacts of all outdoor advertising in the city – especially in the revision of the Local Plan.”

Nicola Round from Adblock Bristol said,

“The removal of all large scale outdoor advertising sites in our city would be a bold and inspiring move which would show that Bristol cares about the wellbeing of people, our environment and our local businesses above the interests of faceless corporations trying to sell us more and more stuff.”

England’s chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, supports the junk food ban:

“The evidence is clear that, although it is not a silver bullet, restricting the amount of junk food adverts children are exposed to will help reduce obesity,” she said.

“Children are inundated with adverts for unhealthy food so this is a really encouraging move and a bold step in the right direction.”

Amsterdam already has a similar ban on junk food advertising in place. Grenoble in France has removed all outdoor advertising from its streets in a move aimed to “free up public space from advertising to develop areas for public expression” according to its Mayor.

Bristol residents have mobilised across the city recently against a wave of new planning applications for large format digital screens that have been submitted to Bristol City Council, including St Werburghs, Easton, Temple Way and Cabot Circus. Residents have accused advertising companies of ignoring the wishes of local communities by regularly appealing rejected planning applications to the national Planning Inspectorate despite public opposition.

Live planning applications in Bristol – 11 May 2018 –  (These have between 15 – 60 objections each)

  1. New digital screen planning application opposite Temple Meads train station. Details here .
  2. Large new screen proposed for Bond Street South in centre of town. Details here
  3. Large new screen proposed for Temple Way in centre of town. Details here
  4. Stapleton Road, Easton. Details here.