Burberry Street Fashion Week Ad Sows Confusion in London

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Tourists and Londoners alike were perplexed erstwhile the Bond Street conduit presumption was temporarily renamed “Burberry Street” arsenic portion of a sponsorship woody with Transport for London.

A London Underground subway level    with the motion   “Burberry Street.”
The Bond Street conduit presumption successful London was temporarily renamed for the Burberry luxury brand.Credit...Belinda Jiao/Getty Images

Jenny Gross

By Jenny Gross

Reporting from Bond Street presumption successful London

Sept. 19, 2023, 1:08 p.m. ET

The Bond Street conduit presumption connected the London Underground was temporarily renamed “Burberry Street” arsenic portion of a London Fashion Week selling run for the British luxury brand, starring to disorder among Londoners and tourists alike.

The signs, enactment successful spot to herald the opening of Burberry’s redesigned, flagship store connected Bond Street, were successful spot from Friday until precocious Monday and aboriginal Tuesday, and led to galore complaints from disoriented customers, according to Transport for London unit members.

Several uniformed unit members, who declined to springiness their names due to the fact that they were not authorized to talk to the quality media, said customers had reported missing their stops due to the fact that of the signs, which were successful the colour of Burberry’s caller agleam blue.

“I heard each antithetic things, to beryllium honest, but thing positive, unfortunately,” 1 unit subordinate said. “People were saying, ‘Why is it similar this? It’s confused us. We saw ‘Burberry Street’ truthful thought we were astatine the incorrect place.’”

Transport for London said that this run was 1 of respective successful caller years that person progressive temporarily renaming conduit stations.

“While the presumption is branded ‘Burberry Street’, in-train announcements, announcements wrong the stations and unit connected platforms volition assistance customers should they necessitate it,” a connection said.

A Transport for London spokesperson declined to remark connected however overmuch Burberry paid for the advertisement campaign, but said that proceeds would beryllium reinvested into London’s proscription system. Transport for London has struggled with expanding ostentation and operating costs that are 5 percent higher than past year, according to its latest fiscal report, published successful July. Passenger journeys are astatine 89 percent of prepandemic levels, it said.

A 2013 report, written by Conservative Party members of the London Assembly, suggested renaming London Underground lines and stations through sponsorship deals arsenic a mode to rise gross for Transport for London.

Burberry did not respond to a petition for comment.

Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas, a selling prof astatine the British School of Fashion, saw the signs connected Monday arsenic she rode into the Bond Street presumption connected the Elizabeth Line. The determination of the ads struck her arsenic perchance confusing, she said, due to the fact that the presumption is utilized by galore visitors going to and from London Heathrow Airport, and not each of them would cognize that Bond Street is associated with precocious manner brands.

Still, the run created a buzz for Burberry and for London Fashion Week, which has struggled successful the years pursuing the pandemic, she said.

“Burberry linking themselves to different London icons is rather a clever thought due to the fact that they bash privation to merchantability themselves connected British practice and London-based arsenic well,” she said. “But possibly determination was a somewhat antithetic mode they could’ve done it.”

Silvia Bellezza, an subordinate prof of selling astatine Columbia Business School who studies luxury manner brands, described the run arsenic a occurrence for Burberry.

“They astir apt took into relationship that immoderate radical were going to beryllium confused oregon perchance lost, but radical are talking astir it, and for many, that’s the goal,” she said.

She said that searches for “Burberry” spiked connected Tuesday connected Google Trends successful Britain, 1 metric that brands usage to gauge occurrence successful reaching consumers. She added that the run was “Instagrammable,” with radical wanting to instrumentality selfies adjacent to the “Burberry Street” signs, which could assistance rejuvenate the 167-year-old brand.

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