Sadiq Khan bans ‘un­re­al­is­tic’ Lon­don trans­port ad­ver­tis­ing

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

LON­DON—Lon­don’s new mayor Sadiq Khan has an­nounced that ad­verts which por­tray “un­healthy or un­re­al­is­tic body im­ages” are to be banned from the city’s pub­lic trans­port.

In a press re­lease, the Mayor of Lon­don’s of­fice said that “from next month, Trans­port for Lon­don [TfL] will not al­low ads which could rea­son­ably be seen as likely to cause pres­sure to con­form to an un­re­al­is­tic or un­healthy body shape, or as likely to cre­ate body con­fi­dence is­sues, par­tic­u­larly among young peo­ple.”

It adds that City Hall has asked TfL to cre­ate an “Ad­ver­tis­ing Steer­ing Group” in con­junc­tion with ad­ver­tis­ing giants JCDe­caux and Ex­te­rion to mon­i­tor out­put and re­flect Lon­don’s di­ver­sity.

The move fol­lows a mas­sive back­lash against var­i­ous poster cam­paigns on the trans­port net­work for so-called body sham­ing - most fa­mously the “Beach Body Ready” im­ages for a line of pro­tein shakes which de­picted a woman in a bikini last year.

De­spite the neg­a­tive re­ac­tion, Pro­tein World - the com­pany fea­tured in the ads - re­ported made £1 mil­lion ($1.4 mil­lion) in four days af­ter spend­ing just a quar­ter of that on the mar­ket­ing.

Khan said that his daugh­ters had helped prompt the de­ci­sion:

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.

Graeme Craig, TfL Com­mer­cial De­vel­op­ment Di­rec­tor added that the na­ture of pub­lic trans­port ad­ver­tis­ing made it dif­fer­ent to ones on TV or in magazines:

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.— Agen­cies

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