Cheese = bad, says TfL

An advertisement for artisanal cheese has been banned from Transport for London (TfL) services as their crackdown on the promotion of high-fat foods continues. The Times reported that Cheese Geek, an online cheesemonger, were told they wouldn’t be able to run their posters on TfL as they don’t meet the transport network’s standards.

In 2019 it was announced that adverts for junk food were no longer allowed at Tube stations and bus stops, part of Sadiq Khan’s initiative to reduce the rates of childhood obesity. The outlawed ads included more than just those for standard fast food, with products like soy sauce, olive oil, pesto and more containing high levels of saturated fat, sugar and salt encapsulated in the ban too.

The news has again sparked debates about TfL’s stance on responsible advertising. Commenters online remember the controversial Protein World ads that ran in 2015 which were criticised for promoting an unhealthy body image. Meanwhile, posters for various vape brands are still pasted on buses throughout the city – though there isn’t sufficient data on the long-term effects of vaping, it can lead to nicotine addiction.

TfL’s policy follows the Food Standard Agency’s guidelines about levels of fast, sugar and salt, meaning that, despite benefits that include its protein, B12 and calcium content, cheese does not make the cut.