Transport for London forced to re-think corporate sponsorship
Following campaigning from the WFCCU and others, Transport for London has been forced to re-think its policy on corporate sponsorship.
The move comes after TfL accepted sponsorship from payday loan company Wonga for its free travel on New Year’s Eve. Claire Walters, Chief Executive of the WFCCU, described the deal as an indefensible breach of social responsibility, adding: “Whether he accepts it or not, Boris Johnson has publicly aligned our country’s capital with a company that exploits the poor.”
According to the Guardian (Wednesday 28 March):
In January, Transport for London excluded Wonga and other high cost lenders from its sponsorship deals following bad publicity of Wonga's sponsorship of free travel on New Year's Eve 2010.
Graeme Craig, commercial development director at TfL, said the company was working on a new sponsorship policy which would set out the type of companies from which TfL would accept corporate sponsorship in the future. He said: "TfL has no plans for corporate sponsorship that involve payday loan companies."
Claire Walters has welcomed the move: “Wonga is becoming a major force in advertising, with analysts AC Nielson MMS putting their advertising spend for 2011 in the region of £16m. Unfortunately, while TfL and organisations like them are making things difficult for Wonga, you can still reach a lot of vulnerable people with £16m.”
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