London’s public transportation network has banned ads that promote Qatar, or make it appear as a desirable travel destination over the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws. The ban, which prohibits advertising that encourages Londoners to attend the World Cup, has reportedly angered Qatari authorities. According to the Financial Times, the Qatari regime is currently reviewing all of its investments in the British capital.
London’s public transportation network has since 2019, taken different nations’ treatment of LGBTQ+ people into consideration when determining advertisers suitability. By using a list provided by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), Transport for London ensures that ads that promote countries with strict anti-LGBTQ+ legislation aren’t featured on buses, trains and other sites.
“Advertising which promotes travel to Qatar, tourism in Qatar, or portrays Qatar as a desirable destination will not be considered acceptable at this time,” the Transport of London revealed in a statement. Adding that, “advertising which promotes ticket sales, encourages people to attend the matches in person, or encourages people to attend other events in Qatar will not be considered acceptable at this time.” Ads that encourage Londoners to watch the games on TV or that are related to FIFA in any other way aren’t affected by the ban. Qatar is one of 11 countries on the list where being gay can lead to the death penalty.