BT in row over kiosk ads security threat

Lobbyists blast BT for installing phone kiosks as an excuse for carrying ‘unsafe’ ad hoardings

BT has been accused by a coalition of influential organisations of erecting telephone kiosks as “a front for advertising hoardings” and creating a threat to public safety.

BT may be forced to rethink how it runs the ads, after a coalition, led by the Civic Trust – an urban environment charity – together with a number of organisations including English Heritage, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and Westminster City Council, raised objections with the ad sites.

The coalition claims the ad sites prevent people in the phone kiosks from seeing whether someone is lurking outside.

It also claims closed circuit TV operators believe the sites makes it easier for crime to flourish, as criminals are aware that they cannot be seen behind them.

The group is meeting with the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) on Thursday to urge it to give planning control of the medium to local authorities.

Under current planning regulations, BT is not obliged to gain planning permission from local authorities. BT is to put its case forward at a later date.

The coalition also claims the ads, which are running on about 20,000 sites nationwide, are unsightly.

A spokesman for the Civic Trust says: “There are fewer and fewer people using telephone boxes, yet BT keeps putting them up. It’s just an excuse to exploit a new form of revenue.”

BT, which sub-contracts the business to a company called Phonesites, has retaliated, saying it has drawn up a voluntary code of practice.

The Civic Trust spokesman adds that the BT code “doesn’t go nearly far enough”.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here