Is sponsoring the London Underground a good idea?

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Commenting on the idea of sponsorship of the London Underground, Vince Mitchell, Professor of Consumer Marketing at Cass Business School says:

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‘The tube, its lines and its stations are iconic, with a long history, making it part of the UK’s cultural heritage. Tampering with its names would not only remove the nostalgic connection, but also the comforting familiarity.’

 

‘My main problem with this idea is where it might lead to; changing street names and areas to reduce council tax? Renaming lakes to reduce water rates? Sponsored hospitals to reduce our health costs? There is an economic argument for all of these, but would it turn the UK into one big trade fair? Great for companies maybe, but not great for tourism.’

 

‘As a concession to the idea, I can see how new tube lines, which have no history, might be put on the open market for sponsorship to reflect London’s reputation as a place of progressive commerce as well as ancient history.’

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