Thursday, June 16, 2016

London Mayor Bans Body-Shaming Ads

London mayor Sadiq Khan has instructed the city's transport network, Transport For London (TFL), to stop facilitating advertisements that "can demean people, particularly women". Khan, who was elected to his role in May this year, said that he didn't want anyone travelling on buses or on the tube to feel "pressurised".

"As the father of two teenage girls, I am extremely concerned about this kind of advertising which can demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies. It is high time it came to an end," said Khan, reportsThe Guardian. "Nobody should feel pressurised, while they travel on the tube or bus, into unrealistic expectations surrounding their bodies and I want to send a clear message to the advertising industry about this."

Last year an advertisement by Protein World was removed by the Advertising Standards Agency after it prompted a more than 360 complaints and a petition which attracted 70,000 signatures. The advertisement read "Are You Beach Body Ready?" promoting advertising weight-loss supplements and meal replacements which many felt aimed to make consumers "feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product".

To help support TFL with similar advertisements moving forward, Khan's office has set up "a steering group" to help agencies Exterion Media and JCDecaux "monitor and review compliance with rules".

"Advertising on our network is unlike TV, online and print media. Our customers cannot simply switch off or turn a page if an advertisement offends or upsets them and we have a duty to ensure the copy we carry reflects that unique environment," said TFL's commercial development director, Graeme Craig, in support of the mayor.

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