LBC shock-jock Nick Ferrari is to complain to the Advertising Standards Authority over the use of a photograph in a Transport for London ad campaign. He claims the image above is “misleading” because it doesn’t contain any motor vehicles.
The image was taken on the new stretch of Cycle Superhighway underneath Holborn Viaduct in London. TfL said the photograph was shot on a Saturday and was not doctored.
A TfL print advert states: “Cycle Superhighway 6 is now open, providing a safer, largely segregated route from Elephant and Castle to King’s Cross. And with a number of Quietway openings across London, too, there’s never been a better time to get on your bike.”
Ferrari is a long-time critic of cycling in London, especially the building of cycleways, and he disputes that “there’s never been a better time to get on your bike.”
On his morning show he said: “It’s broad daylight and behind [the first cyclist] is what is left of the road space for vehicles – cars, lorries, motorbikes etc. Nothing – not a single car.”
He continued: “It’s a busy part of London, not a million miles from the River Thames that takes you up to King’s Cross. There is not a vehicle in sight in broad daylight in this ad.
“That, to me, is a wholly misleading claim and image.
“There’s no way that you could get a snap of that road with no vehicles.”
(Cycles are vehicles and have been so since 1888. Ferrari should have said “motor vehicles.”)
“Secondly, you see three cyclists in this photograph. The one in the foreground is definitely not wearing a helmet. I know it’s not mandated that you should, but every safety guidance says that you should. And I’m fairly certain the third cyclist isn’t wearing one either.”
TfL’s head of customer marketing Miranda Leedham said: “The picture for our Cycle Superhighway 6 advertising was taken on a Saturday morning as we want to encourage the use of cycle lanes on all days of the week.
“Cycling improves health, reduces congestion and helps to clean up London’s toxic air and we hope new routes such as CS6 are encourage more people out of their cars and onto their bikes.”