Qatar evaluating London investments after ads banned on transport

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By Creative Media News

The advertising restriction is “another blatant example of double standards and virtue signaling to win cheap political points” about the World Cup, which the Gulf country is presently hosting.

Qatar is evaluating its assets in London in the wake of a ban on marketing for the Middle Eastern nation on the London Underground, buses, and taxis.

The decision by Transport for London (TfL) is “another apparent example of double standards and virtue signaling to win cheap political points” about the World Cup, which is presently being hosted by the Gulf nation.

Qatar criticized TfL’s decision, stating that it was “interpreted as a message from the mayor’s office that Qatari businesses are not welcome in London.

Qatar evaluating london investments after ads banned on transport
Qatar evaluating london investments after ads banned on transport

Concerns regarding the state’s attitude toward LGBT+ rights and how it handles migrant workers, as well as the fatalities of construction workers preceding the competition, led to TfL’s decision.

In Qatar, homosexuality is outlawed, and same-sex relationships are penalized by up to seven years in prison.

Since the football associations of seven countries, including England and Wales, canceled a plan for select players to wear OneLove armbands, criticism of the nation has increased.

Armbands were intended to be worn as a sign of support for the LGBT+ community.

However, football organizations stated that they were unwilling to risk “sporting punishments” in defense of the idea, with prominent players such as England captain Harry Kane and Wales captain Gareth Bale facing an automatic yellow card and a potential ban from matches.

Investments after its adverts banned
Qatar evaluating london investments after ads banned on transport

The Qatari team has been eliminated from the tournament after just two games, having lost both of its group matches to date, with Tuesday’s encounter against the Netherlands remaining.

Through its sovereign wealth fund, Qatar is one of London’s largest investors.

Canary Wharf is co-owned by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which also owns Harrods and the Shard.

Additionally, the Gulf state owns the Savoy and Grosvenor House hotels, 20% of Heathrow Airport, and 14% of the grocery chain Sainsbury’s.

In light of the TfL advertising prohibition, a person familiar with the Qatar review told: “Qataris see this a contradiction on the part of London’s political leaders.

The decision has been taken as a statement from the mayor’s office that Qatari enterprise is not welcome in London at a time when other investors are withdrawing from the city due to economic turmoil.

The source explained that this was the case “despite the mayor benefiting from Qatar’s investments in London and despite calls from his colleagues to encourage further investment in London, particularly as part of Qatar’s June commitment to investing an additional £10bn in the UK.”

“Evaluation of all present and future London investments”

The source added, “Following the decision, the Qataris have begun a review of all their current and future investments in London and are instead considering investment opportunities in other UK cities and home nations. The decision may have been made more attractive to the Qataris by London’s potential recession and ongoing economic instability in recent months.”

Before the World Cup, TfL informed its advertising partners and businesses with “additional guidance on the advertising we are likely to consider suitable to run throughout the tournament while ensuring that football fans are not prevented from supporting their teams.

Every advertising effort continues to be evaluated on an individual basis.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, requested that TfL examine how it handles advertising and sponsorship from countries with anti-LGBT+ laws in 2019.

This prompted TfL to evaluate advertisements from 11 countries, including Qatar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The 11 countries either have the death penalty for same-sex conduct or have the ability to inflict it.

TfL has acknowledged that Qatar-related advertisements have been permitted to broadcast on the network since 2019.

This week, though, the organization tried to implement a total prohibition.

Advertising for travel to Qatar is deemed unacceptable.

TfL stated that advertisements promoting travel to Qatar, tourism in Qatar, or depicting Qatar as a desirable destination would not be permitted.

TfL stated that advertisements with the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 logo “would be permissible,” as well as advertisements that “urge people to watch the matches on television or via streaming platforms.”

A representative for Mr. Khan’s office stated: “It is correct that TfL evaluates each advertising campaign on its network against its advertising guidelines on a case-by-case basis. Before the World Cup, TfL provided advertising partners with further guidelines.

“As a prominent advocate of the rights of LGBTQ+ Londoners, the mayor asked TfL in 2019 to examine its ban on any advertisements that reference nations that criminalize same-sex couples. They are now subject to strict inspection by TfL before being broadcast on the network.”

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