Stansted Express rapped for false advertising at airport

TRAIN chiefs have been forced to change their advertising signs for the Stansted Express after falsely claiming journeys to central London take 35 minutes.

Advertising watchdogs banned posters at Stansted Airport carrying the text “Train to London in 35 minutes” alongside pictures of the capital because in reality trains take 45 minutes to get to Liverpool Street.

The Advertising Standards Agency ruled that the advert mislead passengers and that trains would only reach Tottenham Hale in 35 minutes.

The images were ruled to “strongly imply” that trains would reach the city centre directly from the airport.

The ASA report said: “We understood that many travellers would not necessarily speak English and that the use of tourist landmarks was intended to communicate a simple message.

“However, we considered that the simplicity of the message could potentially confuse visitors about where in the city they would get to in 35 minutes.”

In total though, only one person had ever complained that the advert was misleading.

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National Express, which runs the Stansted service, said international airline passengers make up 58 per cent of the service’s business. Many do not speak fluent English.

A National Express East Anglia spokesman said: “The use of tourist landmarks was intended to communicate a simple message of train services to London but we note the ruling and apologise if it did cause any misunderstanding.

“We have already started to change the ads.”