The newly-elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced that ads that make passengers "feel pressurised... into unrealistic expectations surrounding their bodies" will end.
Body shaming has been a hot topic in recent years, with a number of high-profile stars such as Amy Schumer and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini calling for an end to pressure from society on women to conform to unattainable body shapes.
Now, however, the idea has received backing in the form of law from the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, as he announced that advertisements that promote unrealistic body images will be banned from the London transport network.
Khan, who is affiliated to the Labour Party and was elected as Mayor last month, has two teenage daughters, announced the new Transport for London (TfL) advertising policy on Monday (June 13th), and warned that such ads risked causing body confidence issues, particularly among young people.
Sadiq Khan, the new Mayor of London, announced an end to 'body-shaming' ads on the city's transport network
Unveiling the policy, Khan said: “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.”
The policy would appear to be in response to adverts such as Protein World’s recent campaign, which featured the phrase “Are you beach body ready?” and an image of a bikini-clad model, and which provoked a strong backlash when it was rolled out in 2015.
A protest took place in Hyde Park last summer, with a Change.org petition calling for them to be taken down garnering more than 70,000 signatures. However, it was not banned by the Advertising Standards Authority at the time.
Khan’s statement continued: “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.”
TfL’s income should not be affected as a result, Khan explained, with just a handful of the 12,000+ adverts that appear on buses, tubes and in various stations predicted to fall foul of the new rules.
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