Loughborough Junction's Blog

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Misleading religious advertising bought to book

4 Comments

When shops and small business units in Loughborough junction are vacated they have often been occupied by religious groups. Whether you think this is a good use of space that could be used for small business and local jobs depends on your viewpoint, however these groups have a big impact on Loughborough junction including how it
looks.

The churches bring large numbers of people to the area, particularly on a Sunday. Where there are large numbers of people advertisers see “target audiences” with the result that that advertising hoardings around the station and under the bridges often carry posters for events and groups aimed at the faithful.

Recently two such advertisements caught my eye as I thought the messages they contained were misleading. One showed a woman and her daughter with the line “my daughter was blind and now she can see” the other showed an image of a man springing out of his wheelchair. Soap powder manufacturers are not allowed make exaggerated claims in adverts and the same rules apply to religious groups.

I took photographs of the two posters and logged onto the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) website to see how to make a complaint. It was a surprisingly easy process that allowed me to fill in an on-line form and upload the images of the posters. I’ve had letters back from the ASA about both advertisements that shows they are being investigated. One included a written assurance from the advertisers that they would not use that advert again and a written assurance that in future they will follow the ASA guidelines on religion and spiritual healing which is that religious organisations may make claims about healing only if it is clear that they are referring to spiritual, not physical healing.

Whether you see the influx of places of worship as a smorgasboard of religious diversity or a descent into a supermarket of superstition, there is a larger debate to be had about the use of former shops and light industrial units as places of worship and what they can contribute to the regeneration of the area. Meanwhile, if you see a misleading advert, please report it to the ASA.

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4 thoughts on “Misleading religious advertising bought to book

  1. I applaud the complaint you’ve made. These ads are at best misleading and at worst slightly more irresponsible than that. I will look out for others in the area! In Camberwell and Loughborough Junction we have many, many such small churches and while I wholeheartedly believe people should be allowed to practise whatever religion they like, those buildings become minority use buildings only and not available to the wider local community – which of course they would be if they were shops. As an area we don’t seem good at supporting local businesses so of course we can’t complain if they then shut. Use your local restaurants, try the newly refurbed Johnnie’s Cafe, go to The Cambria. We need these businesses to survive!

  2. Latest news; The former printers next to Clockwork Studios on Southwell Road is the latest former job-providing light industrial space to become a place of worship.

  3. You must be joking.

  4. Not joking unfortunately.
    Cars parked across pavement and noise into the night.
    Neighbours have contacted the Council to see if change of use was properly applied for and granted.
    I doubt it………

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