The City of London Corporation is to consider plans to loosen restrictions on filming and photography at Tower Bridge with a view to raising an extra £10,000 a year towards maintenance of the famous structure.
Next week the Square Mile's public relations and economic development sub-committee will consider a report from City Corporation officers recommending that current restrictions on the use of the bridge for commercial filming and photography are eased.
The City Corporation, which owns Tower Bridge, hopes to raise up to £10,000 a year by allowing more commercial filming at bridge deck level.
According to the officers' report, "this could take the form of a car advertisement as it drives over the bridge or an advertisement for a camera being used by a pedestrian on the bridge's pavement".
The corporation says that over the past five years it has turned down requests from the likes of Jaguar, Burberry, Links and TM Lewin to film on the bridge.
The City notes that many brands use Potters Fields Park for filming and photography "where it is possible to have Tower Bridge framed majestically in the backdrop" – but the bridge's owners are unable to benefit commercially "as this is precluded by Freedom of Panorama copyright and the fact that the image of a structure cannot be trademarked".
If sub-committee members approve the proposal next week, the City will in future welcome commercial filming on Tower Bridge at road and pavement level "where the brand is not contentious and the fee is beneficial".
However, some publicity stunts – such as zip lines, climbing, abseiling, lighting the bridge and vehicles/stuntmen jumping from the bridge into the river – remain beyond the pale for Guildhall officials.
Such requests will continue to be "politely declined as this would set an otherwise unmanageable precedent and has wider implications in terms of reputational association with the City".