Cheese Ads Banned on the London Tube | culture: the word on cheese
☰ menu   

Cheese Ads Banned on the London Tube

Photo credit:

An advertisement featuring artisan cheeses has been banned by London’s transport network because it was deemed “unhealthy.”

Transport for London (TfL) blocked cheesegeek’s ad in August, saying it did not comply with its advertising policy. TfL said it “uses the Food Standards Agency’s model to define foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt,” The Times reported.

Cheesegeek is an online cheese shop launched by Edward Hancock in 2017. Hancock told The Times he was “frustrated” with TfL’s decision, especially since “adverts featuring fizzy drinks, alcohol and ultra-processed foods” were allowed.

So how is it possible an ad for artisan cheese didn’t meet health standards, but one for alcohol did? “It’s because the government tried to simplify advice for people,” according to Hancock. “But the problem is when you oversimplify it to such an extent… you get this issue with products that are actually proven to be very good for you.”

This is not the first time the TfL removed ads it deemed “unhealthy.” Earlier this year, it banned a poster for a play after the original, which featured a wedding cake, was censored by officials. In that case, the ad was not directly promoting cake but merely included an image of a cake.

While we understand the need to promote healthy habits and remove “unhealthy” messaging, banning the promotion of all foods with high fat content does not allow for any nuance. We turophiles know that cheese can be—and in our case, is—part of a healthy diet. Cheese is high in protein, vitamins, and calcium, not to mention it’s a whole food with minimal processing and has been shown to increase gut health. In our opinion, cheese has been, and will always be, a health food.

Josie Krogh

Josie Krogh is culture's Digital Strategy Lead. She earned her master's degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from The University of Georgia. Josie developed a love of food while working at farmstands in the D.C. area as a young adult, and discovered her love of cheese while living and working on a dairy farm on Martha's Vineyard. She is passionate about the food supply chain, fresh stone fruit, and dogs. Josie currently lives in Catskill, NY.

Leave a Reply