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Got your number! town hall tells phone co

PUBLISHED: 17:08 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:04 05 October 2010

TOWN Hall bosses are furious at a marketing stunt photo-shoot by a telecom company which wrapped pads around lamp-posts in the street 'to protect pedestrians from getting injured as they text messages' on their mobile phones.

By Victoria Huntley

TOWN Hall bosses are furious at a 'marketing stunt' photo-shoot by a telecom company which wrapped pads around lamp-posts in the street to 'protect' pedestrians from getting injured as they text messages on their mobile phones.

They sent out cleaning contractors to take the pads down in Brick Lane in London's East End as soon as it heard about the stunt.

But by the time they arrived on Tuesday, the pads had disappeared.

A shopkeeper in Brick Lane said the pads were only up "for five minutes."

The telephone information service had clad lampposts, bollards and signposts in padded material along the East End's curry mile with their logo to 'protect walkers from hurting themselves' while busy texting.

The 118 118 firm, whose slogan is 'got your number', claimed Brick Lane is the most dangerous street in Britain for what it calls 'walk and text injuries' and said dozy phone users have even broken bones when plonking into street furniture.

But Tower Hamlets council said it would be giving the company a slap on the wrist for the guerrilla advertising.

"It was a marketing stunt," said a Town Hall spokeswoman.

"We will be speaking to company to let them know about council processes in future."

The pho0ne company had commissioned a study which it said found 62 per cent of Britons concentrate so hard on their mobile phone when texting they lose peripheral vision.

Company spokesman Alex Wood said: "Ultimately you're never going to stop people from walking and texting. So this is about pedestrian protection."

He claims they had one case of a fractured cheekbone when someone went straight into a lamppost and another case of a fractured knee.

victoria.huntley@archant.co.uk

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