Council should be ‘ethical’ with Camden digital advertising plans

Cllr Sian Berry. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Cllr Sian Berry. Picture: Nigel Sutton. - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Camden Council has been urged to adopt a “strong ethical policy” on plans to introduce digital advertising on public buildings, amid fears payday lenders and gambling companies could exploit the marketing opportunity.

The council’s cabinet approved plans last week to introduce digital advertising on its buildings to help raise revenue to plug a £70million budget gap over the next three years.

But Green councillor Sian Berry raised concerns about the plans at the council’s resources and corporate performance scrutiny committee on Tuesday last week.

She said: “If Camden Council is to go down the route of selling advertising space, it should have a strong ethical policy for what adverts it accepts, including restrictions on advertising aimed at children, payday loans and gambling companies that prey on the least well-off, as well as sexual, violent or sexist content.”

Cllr Theo Blackwell, cabinet member for finance and technology policy, pledged to examine the issue at last week’s cabinet meeting.

He said: “There could be some conflicts with our settled policy around public health, our opposition to payday lenders for example. “We obviously need to look at this very carefully and obviously not in a cavalier fashion.”