We’ve made some changes today to advertising on tfl.gov.uk, with key pages featuring more prominent advertising in new formats.

For the past few years we have featured advertising on the site. As a public body we reinvest any income to run and improve the services we provide, including the website.

Home page advertising

From today you’ll notice an increased advertising presence on some key pages of our website


Today’s changes are intended to make our online advertising more effective so we can generate more income, while minimising any negative effects to the usability of the site.

The high profile pages on the site such as the homepage, Journey Planner, maps and our many station, stops and piers pages are where the main changes have been made.

In some places we have made the advertising more prominent and we have moved away from custom ad units, which restrict demand, to Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) standard units, which are more desirable to advertisers.

We continue to make other improvements such as the recent addition of TfL Rail, increased Journey Planning options and forthcoming Night Tube changes. Our future roadmap sees us working towards greater personalisation, the wider use of single sign on and improvements to our open data services, which power the 360 smartphone apps used by many customers.

Mobile advertising

Changes to the advertising presence on our site is across all devices, such as Journey Planner on mobile shown here

If you have a product you would like to share with the 76% of Londoners who use our site, or if you would like to know more about our advertising policy, you can find out more on the site itself.

We’re always keen to hear what you think, let us know by leaving a comment on this blog.

Posted by Phil Young

Phil is Head of Online at Transport for London, leading the team responsible for tfl.gov.uk, Open Data, social media and intranets.

9 Comments

  1. I don’t mind a bit of online advertising if it helps pay the bills. It looks a bit messy at the moment though (alignment and whitespace). Which is a real shame on a website that’s otherwise so elegant.

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    1. Hi Andy, you’ll see we’ve tidied up the presentation a little. Hope you like it a little better now. We are somewhat restricted by the fact that the ads themselves are not responsive, whereas the site is. This will lead to white space at certain screen sizes.

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  2. No, still looks ugly, why did you ruin the look of your website with a massive irritating advert on top ? Its like a super model wearing a pile of crap on her head, I’m so glad when the ad is not running and absolutely hate the intrusion when its there. TfL can’t you think of a smarter, more creative and less blunt way of making website revenue.

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  3. Some of the adverts are of the deliberately misleading kind. For example, right now as I look at the maps page, I see an advert that contains a huge green button that says “start download”. While it may be good for revenue when people mistakenly click this advert, it’s not good for the primary role of the website to provide a public service! The advertised service here supposedly provides “Free directions and maps”, but a little searching suggests that it is in fact a browser hijacking toolbar. I hope that you can improve the vetting process for these adverts to avoid such inappropriate content in the future.

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  4. The huge ad banners make the TFL site much more difficult for people with visual impairments — not just an irritant — very damaging to usability and accessibility. Does anyone know of a browser add-on that would hide them?

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  5. It takes about a third of my horizontal screen real estate and it very irritating indeed. If I ever click on one and get some intrusive software installed this will be the end of the road for me.

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  6. Hello Phil,
    The TFL website runs really slow due to all the adverts loading on the page. It is really, really frustrating trying to look anything up. Is there anything you can do about speeding up the loading times? Thanks.

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  7. Hi Phil, who would be best to contact about advertising on the TFL website please? I have seen the page about advertising with TFL, e.g. buses and the Tube, but where can I find information about advertising on the TFL site? Many thanks.

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    1. Stephen Irvine May 20, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      Hi Hannah, you can speak to my colleague James about this – if you email JamesMcDowall@tfl.gov.uk he’ll be able to help.

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