London Victoria in line for huge ad screen influx

Ad company JCDecaux have applied to put up 42 new digital advertising screens in the listed Victoria station building. One of the screens is an absolute juggernaut at 13m wide! Together, the screens would require the same electricity as 97 average UK homes (*see calculations below).

Update: We have written a joint letter from Adfree Cities, Adblock Lambeth and Adblock Lewisham to Westminster City Council objecting to this development, and asking that this is taken as an opportunity to remove much of the advertising clutter in London Victoria, making it a place designed for people.

Digital billboards typically show 6 ads per minute (bringing in a bumper profit for the ad company + brands). Do we want 15,000 more ads every hour in Victoria station?

The application is for:

  • 1 XXL giant digital billboard elevated inside the station: 13.1m wide x 3.3m tall (Sussex concourse).
  • 1 XL digital billboard elevated inside the station: 8.4m x 3.6m tall (Kent concourse).
  • 38 single-sided smaller “six sheet” standing ad units, at various locations around the station.
  • 4 double-sided ‘totem’ ad units

Anyone living near or passing through Victoria can object to this transformation of the station and influx of bright, invasive, energy-hungry corporate ads. Once the screens are here, they will be here to stay! So get your comments in – the more objections received, the more likely these screens can be blocked.

The new ’48-sheet’ digital screens will show several changing ads per minute.

Here’s how to object:

  • Go to Westminster council’s planning site: https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/
  • Type in the Planning Reference: 22/07253/LBC 
  • Click “Comments”, then “Make a comment”. The site requires you to make a login – you can do this by clicking “Register here” – then return to Ref 22/07253/LBC to make your comment.
  • Planning departments can only reject billboards on two grounds, public safety (which does not apply here) and amenity – how the ads will make the station look and feel, are they ugly, will they make your experience of the station more stressful? Try to include your personal story – how often and why you come to Victoria, and so on. The station is a listed building, how do advertising screens fit with that?

Thank you for getting involved in blocking new billboards!

*The electricity cost of digital adverts is surprisingly high. One double-sided large billboard uses the same electricity as 11 average UK homes. Smaller double-sided “six-sheet” units use the same electricity as 3-4 UK homes. With 2 large screens (one double and one single-sided), 38 smaller six-sheet single-sided units and 4 double sided six-sheet totems, this proposal for Victoria station adds up to a massive electricity requirement of 97 UK homes.

If you’re interested in Adfree Cities and the work we do, don’t hesitate to contact us, and join our mailing list for the latest updates and actions. And please sign our petition calling on UK Government to switch off pointless digital billboards at night across the UK as a logical energy-saving measure.

One of the new ‘wall-mounted’ 2.1m tall x 1.2m wide ad screens. We feel about as happy as this baby about this application.
How many ads would you like to be bombarded with?
ahhhhhh ad stress
What Jc Decaux calls a ‘Totem’ unit. Which is pretty egregious word use.
One of the proposed new smaller screens (blocking a gateway)
Screens screens everywhere

Published by