What a Joke: TfL Bans Comedy Hot Dog Poster That Could Promote Obesity

A popular comedian has been forced by Transport for London to alter adverts for his upcoming shows due to promoting unhealthy eating.

TfL’s Advertising Controversy

Transport for London (TfL) has faced criticism once again for its decision to ban an advert on the London Underground for displaying a hot dog. This incident adds to a series of similar controversies involving adverts allegedly endorsing unhealthy foods or resembling graffiti.

Organisers of comedian Ed Gamble’s upcoming stand-up tour, named ‘Hot Diggity Dog’, created a poster featuring a hot dog. The comedian was later told by TfL to alter it due to concerns about the poster going against its rules about promoting healthy eating.

Creators Replace Unhealthy Hot Dog

After being informed that the poster would have to be removed unless the hot dog was altered, the poster’s creators rushed to replace it with a healthier cucumber.

A TfL spokesperson said that the company welcomes “all advertising on our network” as long as it “complies with our published guidance.” TfL argued that the hot dog breached its rules for healthy eating and insisted that the poster promoting Gamble’s five nights in Hackney be changed.

“Following a review of the advert, we advised that elements would need to be removed or obscured to ensure it complied with our policy,” the spokesperson said. TfL admitted it was happy with the changes made to the poster, claiming “we are always happy to work with people to ensure adverts follow our policy.”

Gamble’s Humorous Response

The comedian, Ed Gamble, responded to the change to the advert in a surprisingly accepting manner, although he did joke “I guess I’m dangerous.” Gamble said, “TfL told me I couldn’t have a hot dog on my poster to promote my Hackney Empire shows in June,” before joking, “I guess I’m dangerous?”

Referencing TfL’s decision to ban the hot dog due to breaching its healthy eating promotion rules, He joked, “I’ve replaced it with a cucumber. Eat your greens, kids.” The comedian also joked that he was “delighted” that TfL had allowed him to promote his “favourite fast food snack, a cucumber,” while also promoting his show.

Mayor Hails Food Ad Ban

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan hailed the improvement in obesity cases in London since the advertising ban was put in place back in 2019. Khan insisted, “As a result of our junk food advertising ban on Transport for London, nearly 100,000 cases of obesity have been prevented since 2019.”

Khan argued that the ban would go on to save the NHS up to £200 million while tackling childhood obesity in London, which he described as a “ticking time bomb.”

Previous Incidents

This is not the first time TfL has sparked controversy over advertising content. Last year, two West End plays had to modify their posters after TfL deemed them to promote obesity due to their depiction of high-fat foods.

Junk food may be banned from TfL advertising campaigns, although critics raise concerns about fast food companies such as Greggs still being allowed to advertise, so long as no food is shown.

Other critics include producers for some of the West End’s most popular shows that bring in tourists from all over the world, including the Lion King producer who labelled the rule “Ridiculous.”

Although the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has good intentions by banning pictures of fast food from posters, the irony of still allowing fast food companies to advertise receives backlash.

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The post TfL Bans Comedy Hot Dog, Claiming It Could Promote Obesity first appeared on Edge Media.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / aerogondo2.

Oscar Davies, an expert in US and UK politics and sports, is renowned for his sharp and engaging writing style, appealing to a broad spectrum of readers.

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