The Transport for London network has banned “negative body images” on trains and Tube stations network from next month – a result of a pledge by London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan, who was motivated to act after complaints about weight-loss ads that ran in stations.
By NZ standards, the ad – a fairly standard unracy female body image – would be perfectly acceptable.
Some commentators say the policy switch is the start of the “Islamification” of London and said the mayor was adopting this policy because of his religious values.
As part of his mayoral election manifesto, Sadiq Khan pledged to ban ads promoting “unhealthy or unrealistic” body images.
The Protein World Beach Body Ready posters were defaced in Tube stations and a petition was started calling for them to be banned, however the Advertising Standards Agency watchdog later ruled the ad depicting a bikini-clad female model was neither offensive nor irresponsible.
Khan’s move effectively over-rode the ASA decision.
Transport for London is now advising advertising partners and stakeholders of the mayor’s new policy and “will ensure adverts continue to adhere to the regulations”.
“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,” the hyperventilating newcomer told the BBC. “It is high time it came to an end.”
“Advertising on our network is unlike TV, online and print media,” said Transport for London director Graeme Craig, who fell into line very quickly.
“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.”
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