Sadiq Khan Hates Wedding Cakes

Ever since I saw the article on the Evening Standard about TfL banning an advert for a theatre production I've been raging and fuming.

Here's the tea...TfL has banned an advert from appearing on its ad spaces along the network - on its platforms, along the escalators, in the tubes, on the bus stops. The advert features scantily clad young women, wearing inappropriate clothing for any casual daytime setting, produced by fast fashion businesses exploiting underpaid, underage and overworked workers in unsafe working environments, whilst polluting the planet, one crop top at a time.

Billboards for Boohoo PLT Credit James Akena Reuters

Billboards for Boohoo PLT Credit James Akena Reuters

Hah! PSYCH! Nope, that's fine by London mayor, Sadiq Khan. What isn't however, is a theatre production's, Tony & Tina's Wedding, advert depicting a married couple on top of a wedding cake.

Evening Standard - Sadiq Khan TfL Advert Ban 1

This ban is so dumbfounding that it was brought up in discussion at Mayor's Question Time at City Hall.

Evening Standard - Sadiq Khan TfL Advert Ban 2


Evening Standard - Sadiq Khan TfL Advert Ban 3
Right, so Sadiq Khan and the TfL think an advert featuring a wedding cake, that really impulsive food purchase readily available in shops, supermarkets and the high street, is a direct threat to burgeoning obesity rates amongst children in the capital. Of course...nothing like these adverts of healthy sandwiches...
Just Eat KFC Advert on TfL
Look, I think Sadiq Khan is a smart and hard working guy. He used to be a barrister, and he didn't get to his position of Mayor of London without demonstratable intellect. However, a quick google would show anyone a portion of wedding cake, which consists of a bit of sponge, a smatter of buttercream, and is typically tiny (as it is served at the end of the reception meal), is at MOST 200kcals. A quarter pounder however, clocks up 507kcals...and it's available to munch readily at various restaurants in TfL's ACTUAL STATIONS.


Sadiq MUST know this. Because he's smart, right? Which leads me to think he must just hate wedding cake. And why would anyone hate wedding cake? Because they must've only ever had awful wedding cake or...their own must've sucked. In which case I will happily #gift a wedding cake for Sadiq's vow renewal, and he doesn't even have to tag us on his insta. I'll do it just for the love of cake.


Councillor Emma Hall questioned Sadiq Khan on if it was right to ban the ad, considering the £25,000 total reported spend on the musical's advert production and re-production. To which he responds, “If this particular theatre decided to print the adverts before they’d got confirmation [from TfL that the advert is compliant], then that’s clearly an issue for them, as the client."
Tony N Tina's Wedding Poster - Banned
Again, I think Sadiq's a smart man, however his response seems to suggest that £25,000 is the cost of printing a few posters. Never mind the cost of the photographer, shoot stylists, hair and make up artists, studio, actors, graphic designers, art directors, and the time and labour in organising the campaign.
And don't forget the actual CAKE. All of this, comes before the actual printing of the posters. Besides, I think what Emma Hall was trying to get at a time when the arts are at the brink of survival, during a recession, post-pandemic and lockdowns, was it absolutely necessary to ban the ad, making the production company incur higher costs? No Sadiq, it wasn't. Especially not when there are McFlurry ads hanging about on bus stops sending everyone mixed messages about what's acceptably healthy and what's not.


Now, that my rage has tempered down...I've started to think with some clarity. I'd been feeling pretty sorry for the poor theatre producers over the painful setback of having to redesign their posters and editing out the cake. But, now, I'm thinking this could've all been a VERY CUNNING PR PLOY. Most of us harbour some level of distrust for politicians. It doesn't matter which party, they're all seemingly in it for themselves and their mates. If I was the theatre production's marketing team, I would've totally baited TfL by doing exactly this in the hope of it getting banned. What better way to get the public riled up on your behalf when the villain is a politician and the subject is CAKE?? And what better way to get the best kind of publicity across every news outlet covering the story...FOR FREE. Am I right or am I right??


I'm really looking forward to catching Tony N Tina's Wedding at the theatre - it sounds great. And now I'm gagging for a slice of wedding cake. Best pop down to my local McDs next to the tube stop for one. Oh wait.


Reshmi xoxo

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