'Body-Shaming' Adverts To Be Banned From London Underground

"It is high time it came to an end."

13/06/2016 12:02

Adverts that create body confidence issues are to be banned from London Underground, the Mayor of London has announced.

Starting next month, Transport for London (TfL) will not permit adverts that promote an unrealistic or unhealthy body image, particularly among young people.

Sadiq Khan, who has two two teenage daughters, said he is worried about adverts that can cause women to be "ashamed of their bodies".

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.

“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.”

The move follows Protein World's controversial 'Are You Beach Body Ready?' advert, which caused widespread outrage from body positive campaigners last year.

Catherine Wylie/PA Archive

The adverts were promptly defaced on London's Underground by campaigners arguing that all bodies are beach body ready and a petition calling for the removal of the advert received more than 70,000 signatures.

Later in the year, an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigation deemed the adverts "not offensive".

The new advertising policy, which comes in response to customer feedback, will be upheld by an appointed steering group, who review adverts regularly.

Graeme Craig, TfL Commercial Development Director, said: “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. 

“We want to encourage great advertising that engages people and enhances the transport network.”

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