Stansted Express has recently come under fire for false advertising. The advertisement indicated that the Stansted Express can get train passengers to the center of London in 35 minutes. The poster in question portrays various London-centric images, such as Big Ben and the London Eye, surrounded by the claim.
In reality, this train only gets part of the way to central London, to Tottenham Hale. If you aren’t from London, the most notable attraction to Tottenham Hale is a shuttle bus station that takes you to a hiking route, which is clearly not the hustle and bustle of central London.
After some complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority banned the ad saying it was misleading to passengers hoping to get to the center of London in 35 minutes, considering train goers would still have to connect to the London Underground to continue on to central London.
Stansted Express countered by saying that the ad was mostly for foreign travelers who would easily be able to understand this sign. According to their company, 58% of all of their train travelers are foreign and might not understand English fluently. They also believe that no where in their ad is it implied people can get to London’s center in 35 minutes.
But the Advertising Standards Authority stuck to their guns. It’s a 45 minute train to central London and the images and presentation of the ad very strongly indicate that it will take a half hour instead. The decision to keep the ad banned stands.
Luckily, no one will be planning commute times or trip based on faulty advertising. This seems like a case of wishful thinking that train patrons can get to their destination quicker.
[Img Source: Jon McGovern]