London Cycle Scheme – the Future of Advertising Flats to Rent?

Is sponsorship a good way of advertising Flats for Rent? Barclays have certainly snapped up a bargain, Barclays are only paying £25m towards the £140m cycle scheme which now bears their name, and they get more than just the name ‘Barclays Bikes’ – they also get 100km plus of road painted Barclays blue – and an advert on every bike. Eat your heart out Foxtons Minis, throw away your canvas bags Marsh & Parsons, have your notepad back Douglas & Gordon, Chestertons & Frank Knight!

Of course Barclays are reaping a whirlwind of negative publicity, anti-war activists who have placed large stickers about the conflict in Afghanistan on the back of bikes to highlight Barclays investment in the arms trade. The activists claim 4,000 bikes got stickers & the messages read:


Other demonstrators left stickers on bikes at Hyde Park Corner in protest at Barclays’ sponsorship of the scheme, unhappy about the bank’s record of investing in defence companies.

The Guardian on the bikes

London can now claim the dubious honour of hosting what is surely the largest piece of corporate branding in existence. It’s not just the scale, the mind-blowing square footage, that is shocking about this – it’s the principle. We’re not talking about some supersized billboard here: we’re talking about the mayor selling off the very road beneath our wheels – one of the few parts of a city that counts indisputably as public space. Whether they realise it or not, whether or not they even care, from now on thousands of cyclists are doomed to commute on a giant Barclays ad….There is something, too, in the gibes suggesting this is not just Barclays blue but Tory blue. Neither New Labour nor former mayor Ken Livingstone did anything to prevent the growing privatisation of the city, but it is hard to imagine Livingstone selling off a chunk of the public realm in such brazen fashion.”

The Standard calls for a new name:

The Standard calls for a new name for Boris & The Cycle Scheme

The Standard calls for a new name for Boris & The Cycle Scheme

London is saddled with the lifeless name for its scheme of “Barclays Cycle Hire”. We badly need a nickname for the scheme. I’ve already suggested the Bozza. All other ideas welcome, the wittier the better

Not good publicity – but then there is no such thing as bad advertising. When Foxton’s illegal and fraudulent business practices became the feature of a BBC TV program their business actually increased.

So Pimlico Flats need to get our company bike covered in slogans, and have George repaint Winchester St. pavement. That will get the tenants renting our flats.

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