The U.K.’s Transport for London has reportedly banned a grocery store’s advertisement from the city’s underground subway system because the poster included pictures of bacon, eggs, butter and jam, claiming it afoul of a ban against ads that promote junk foods.
Farmdrop, an online food distributor, says the government-run TfL banned their ad last month because it supposedly violated the agency’s prohibition on ads that display foods high in fat, sugar and salt. Despite the fact that the ad also included plenty of healthy food items like bananas, grapes and other fruits and vegetables, the company says they ultimately had to crop the supposedly "bad" foods like bacon and jam from the photo before the government would let them display the ad.
In a statement addressing the move, TfL reportedly told ITV News, "This ban is designed to reduce children’s exposure to adverts for food and drink which could contribute to this problem."
"Our advertising policy requires brands to demonstrate that any food or drink products featured in advertisements running on our network are not high in fat, sugar and salt, unless they have been granted an exception," TfL continued. "In this case, Farmdrop chose not to apply for an exception and our advertising agent worked with them to amend the advertisement."
Interestingly, Farmdrop said in a statement that the company actually supports the city's ban on junk food advertising for things like candy and soda, but claims it's ridiculous to apply that same standard to basic grocery staples like eggs and butter, calling the TfL's implantation of this rule "clumsy."
While ridiculous, the assault on pictures of bacon and butter shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Orwellian rule was first proposed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan in May of last year…ironically, right after a rule banning other ads that “body-shame” people who are overweight.