Borough of Culture ads are sending passengers up the junction

The latest in the omnishambles that is the £132,000 squandered on “marketing” to promote Croydon’s year as the Borough of Culture has attracted a series of complaints that council signage is now causing confusion for rail passengers at Norwood Junction.

Wrong stop: the culture roundel has been plastered over Norwood Junction station signs

“This is Croydon”, the Borough of Culture’s passive aggressive slogan, has been spotted in Transport for London-style roundels on the platforms at the station.

And rail buffs don’t like it one little bit…

“TfL usually has such clear signage and has very strict guidelines in order to keep signage effective, clear and consistent,” noted one shocked commenter on the Rail UK online forum over the weekend.

“Am I the only one who thinks the below is crazy? West or East Croydon is the next station.

“Yet – at the platform at Norwood Junction – a number of roundels are branded thus…”, they say, over the top of the offending, offensive roundel.

The misleading Borough of Culture signage has been pasted over the existing TfL station roundels. “Hence I’m rather staggered TfL would even contemplate doing this where it replaces its own basic and crucial signage for passengers.”

The roundel design, and the placement of the ads (in August, the eighth month of 2023, Croydon’s year as the Borough of Culture), stems from White Label, the PR agency that was handed £132,000 to market and promote Croydon’s 12 months in the spotlight, but has so far been decidedly low-key, late or underwhelming.

Mayoral endorsement: will Jason Perry be hearing from TfL’s intellectual property lawyers?

Now, they are being accused of misleading unsuspecting rail passengers of getting off at the wrong stop entirely. A somewhat apt metaphor for Croydon’s Borough of Culture, some might think.

“I know it’s for a campaign but to have two of these in a row seems a very curious decision,” the rail forum commenter added, with implied criticism of TfL – who managed Norwood Junction Station – as well as the Croydon Glee Club.

“That is shockingly bad,” another commenter remarked.

Someone calling themselves “Norbiton Flyer” observed: “TfL are quite protective about their roundels. I think Croydon Borough Council and its advertising agency might soon be getting a letter from TfL’s Intellectual Property lawyers.” Oooo-errr.

A former employee of TfL and London Underground with experience of design said, “I find this staggeringly poor and I cannot understand how it has been allowed, both from an intellectual property standpoint and a basic station information one (ie it isn’t Croydon!).

“That it is an enamel sign indicates it is supposed to be durable/in situ for a long time.

“A waste and abuse of resources, space and a valuable corporate identity.”

Read more: £1.5m being spent on our Borough of not-very-much Culture
Read more: £250 per day fees paid to lead on borough’s Heritage Trail
Read more: GLA has few checks on how £1.3m Culture grant is being spent
Read more: Having a giraffe! Business group spends thousands on statues

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This entry was posted in Borough of Culture 2023, East Croydon, Norwood Junction, South Norwood, TfL, Transport, West Croydon. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Borough of Culture ads are sending passengers up the junction

  1. Jack Griffin says:

    Q: Would Jason Perry inspire more confidence if he didn’t dress like a provincial coach driver?

    A: Probably not.

  2. Ken Towl says:

    It was bad enough when the slogan “This is Croydon” was plastered all over East and West Croydon stations. Then it looked less like an original piece of marketing and more like a statement of the bleedin’ obvious.

    Now it just looks like a lie.

    £132K, and it seems someone in marketing is welcome to it.

  3. Paul Taylor says:

    Signs similar to these appeared at many Lewisham Borough stations when, last year, Lewisham was honoured with being the London Borough of Culture.

    I am a Lewisham resident and found the supposedly year long jamboree of events for Lewisham residents pretty much invisible. May have been nice for the council.

  4. Don McNair says:

    It would be rather depressing if it wasn’t so farcical. Is there anything that this borough can get right?

  5. J Lewis says:

    Norwood Junction appears to be a London Overground station so I wonder who has been putting op “misleading” signs?

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