Is Westfield set to be 'White City'

Shopping Centre Hoardings Do Not Reflect Local Community

Related Links

Will White City Mega-Mall Crush Local Business?

Can you live without a supermarket? One Chiswick family gives it a go

Sign up for a weekly newsletter from, and

Advertising hoardings for the new White City shopping centre do not reflect the diversity of the surrounding area, according to the Liberal Democrats.

The hoardings along Wood Lane in Shepherd's Bush advertise the White City shopping centre, due to open next year.

All the models in the adverts are white. However, Shepherd's Bush is one of the most ethnically diverse areas in London.

And the Liberal Democrat says Westfield Group, developer of the shopping centre, is not sympathetic to the needs of residents who live nearby.

The Liberal Democrats have written to the Westfield Group, developers of the White City Shopping Centre, complaining about the failure of their advertising to reflect the diversity of the neighbourhood.

Hammersmith and Fulham Liberal Democrat spokesman Jon Burden said: "Advertising has a powerful influence on our perceptions of products and places.

"It also sends a message about the company paying for the advertising. We believe using only white models for advertising a development in an area with a large number of non-white residents sends out the wrong message.

"Westfield has made numerous promises that their development benefits everyone in the community. Their choice of models and advertising method undermines these promises."

The White City shopping centre forms part of a massive £1.6bn regeneration project for West London.

Once open the centre is expected to rival traditional retail districts such as Oxford Street. The shopping mall will house an atrium for live events, 15 restaurants, shops, 4,500 parking spaces, 265 shops, a cinema and other leisure facilities.

A new Tube station, two bus terminals and a railway will serve the site.

It is at the heart of a major drive to regenerate the area, which also includes a £170 million upgrade to the transport network and more than 200 flats in an affordable housing scheme.

Developers estimate that 60 per cent of visitors to the new shopping centre will come by public transport.

Marks and Spencer, Next, Debenhams and Waitrose are among high street names which have already been signed up to open at the shopping centre.

Westfield were asked to comment on this issue but did not respond.

June 12, 2007