Another Protein World campaign has come under scrutiny from body image campaigners and commuters, who fear it could send a negative message to women and girls.
The adverts feature Khloe Kardashian sporting a white leotard and leg warmers with the tagline: “Can you keep up with a Kardashian?”
The campaign is part of the company’s 30-day weight-loss challenge.
The billboards feature on London Underground months after Transport for London (TfL)’s pledge to ban advertising that promoted an unhealthy or unrealistic body image, particularly among young people.
At the time Sadiq Khan, who has two two teenage daughters, said he was worried about adverts that can cause women to be “ashamed of their bodies”.
Complainants believe the ad sends a negative message to young girls, but a spokesperson for TfL said in a statement that the advert was deemed to adhere to the rule.
Green Assembly member Caroline Russell, who received complaints from her constituents about the advert, said, according to the Evening Standard: “People taking the Tube should not have to be bombarded with adverts that imply their bodies aren’t good enough.
“Young people receive this negative message from enough social media channels and it’s appalling that this is being reinforced on Tube platforms, against the Mayor’s own policy, when people are taking trips to school, to work, or going out to socialise.
“I am urging the Mayor to look again at these adverts that challenge young people to ‘keep up’ with reality stars known for idealised and unrealistic body shapes. He needs to enforce his own guidelines and live up to his manifesto promise to Londoners.
“Every body is a good body and TfL should be promoting inclusion and making their stations welcoming spaces. Allowing these adverts risks making people lose confidence in themselves.”
A spokesperson for the Mayor defended the decision to allow the advert: “This advert was closely reviewed and deemed to comply with the new TfL advertising policy that bans adverts that could pressurise people to conform to unhealthy or unrealistic body images.”
The outrage follows Protein World’s controversial ‘Are You Beach Body Ready?’ advert, which caused widespread outrage from body positive campaigners in 2015.
The adverts were promptly defaced on London’s Underground by campaigners arguing that all bodies are beach body ready and a change.org 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 Huffington Post UK has reached out to Protein World for comment and will update this piece accordingly.