London Mayor Sadiq Khan and TfL have come under fire over a series of advertisements on the London Underground which politicians have called “horrible” and “shocking”.
Parliamentarians and members of the London Assembly have questioned posters containing strong sexual innuendoes, advertising plastic surgery and even ‘turkey teeth’ abroad.
It comes after a particular advertisement on the London Underground, asking readers if they like ‘face photos’, sparked outrage last night after a Tory MP called it ‘awful’.
The head of the Conservatives in the London Assembly, Susan Hall, said some of the adverts MailOnline brought to her attention were “terrible” and that the adverts did not “square” with TfL’s recent financial problems.
There are also concerns about the safety of some ads for vulnerable people, especially in relation to surgery abroad.
A controversial billboard purports to advertise a ski instructor service offering guides who know the “best face shots on the mountain.”
Another Durex ad read: ‘POV, you found a condom that fits better’
Social media users asked how this dating app ad, which encourages people to use Bluetooth to contact strangers on a train, was compatible with posters warning against sexual harassment on the subway.
Multiple billboards on display in the London Underground contain sexual innuendo, with one ski advertisement made up mostly of two long words: ‘face photo’.
The poster purports to advertise a ski instructor service offering guides who know the ‘best face shots on the mountain’.
The top half of the poster has ‘face photo’ in large, bold letters and a description of the phrase below: ‘The effect of fresh snow splashing across the face when skiing in deep snow.’
However, Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes tweeted that “we all know what the other reference is…”
The announcement is far from an isolated incident. Other posters displayed on the platforms and inside the carriages include one from Durex, showing a young woman with her eyes closed and smiling as she leans back.
Large letters tell passengers: ‘POV, you found a condom that fits better.’
Another, which appeared on the subway just before Christmas, advertised a new dating app that told commuters they could contact anyone they enjoyed “flirty eye contact” using their phones’ Bluetooth.
“Did you make flirty eye contact on the subway?” the ad reads. ‘Doing the first one more is easy with Genie.
“Have your Bluetooth turned on, they will remain in your app history and you can connect safely now or later.”
One Twitter user who saw the ad placed right next to a government poster denouncing sexual harassment on transport said: “Two ads on the subway tonight: making eye contact is sexual harassment… but there’s an app for it’s”.
The ad was criticized by some online who raised concerns that the app could pose a risk to women.
The head of the Conservatives at the LGA, Susan Hall, said: ‘I had no idea what was going on. It is absolutely scandalous.
‘Why would you put these kinds of things where children can see them? You have to wonder why this is done. Even one of these (being allowed) is ridiculous.
She continued: ‘Sadiq Khan banned junk food ads in 2019 because it’s bad for children and can contribute to health problems and obesity, but it’s okay for children, and possibly vulnerable women, to see these kinds of ads.
“It’s not a sensible way forward.”
Responding to the Durex ad, Ms Hall said: “You wouldn’t want an impressionable young teenager looking at that.”
“It’s ridiculous that you can have that Durex ad, but God forbid you put up a picture of McDonalds.”
Meanwhile, Ms Nokes added to her criticism of the online ‘face photography’ ad: ‘Horrible ad on the @MayorofLondon @TfL tube – we shouldn’t have to put up with references like this on the transport network, kids see it every day’.
In response to his tweet, people described the ad as “rude” and in “exceptionally poor taste.”
Transport for London, under the control of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, was criticized by UK dentists for running ads urging Britons to travel abroad for cosmetic dental treatment.
Some ads offer breast augmentation during an ‘all-inclusive’ trip abroad
There were even ads talking about Victorian workhouses, which some on social media criticized as insensitive during a cost-of-living crisis.
Another ad that drew attention was from audiobook firm Audible, which some said was inappropriate given the implications of the cost-of-living crisis.
The poster reads: “This is the story of that classic commute where you avoid eye contact on your way to the workhouses of seedy Victorian England.”
And your escape, straight into the arms of a gang of murderous pickpockets.
Meanwhile, several advertisements for plastic surgery and dental treatment have also been criticized over concerns about medical risks to those who view the billboards.
Many offer ‘affordable’ and ‘all-inclusive’ trips to destinations such as Turkey, but MailOnline has previously reported on the serious complications that can arise from having such surgery.
TfL has published advertisements for Istanbul-based dental clinic Dentakay, which offers the ‘Hollywood Smile’ treatment, as well as clinics offering breast augmentation and other surgical procedures.
Ms Hall told MailOnline: ‘Are they doing any checking on these adverts?
‘Oh really? Have the surgery staff done any checks at these clinics?
“If not, it will be expensive for us the public because they will have to correct it in the NHS.”
The controversial Hollywood Smile dental procedure, made popular by stars like Katie Price and Love Island’s Jack Fincham, involves filing your natural teeth down to pins and then replacing them with crowns or veneers.
Debate has erupted over the implications of encouraging cosmetic surgery, especially one that many Britons say left them in pain and suffering from complications after undergoing treatment abroad.
Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes called the announcement “awful” and said “we all know what the other reference is…”
The poster (pictured) appeared on the London Underground after TfL launched its campaign against sexual harassment.
While the ads aimed at reducing the harassment of women on public transport also angered many people, whether staring on the subway or on the bus should be a crime.
The initiative put up signs on trains reading: ‘Intrusive staring of a sexual nature is sexual harassment and is not tolerated.’
Many felt the campaign was positive, highlighting how uncomfortable it can be to stare aggressively on public transport.
While others felt that staring was not an issue, there are more serious issues that could be addressed.
In October, thousands of cannabis advertisements with a discount code were ‘posted’ in the underground.
Dispenseroo, a cannabis delivery service branded similarly to Deliveroo, was ‘posting’ on the subway network, having illegally placed 2,500 paper advertisements for its railcar services.
Transport for London and Sadiq Khan have been contacted for comment.