Lon­don Mayor bans un­re­al­is­tic ad­ver­tis­ing

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

IMayor N one of the first high-pro­file moves of his ad­min­is­tra­tion, the Lon­don

Sadiq Khan an­nounced on Monday that body-sham­ing ads will no longer be al­lowed to ap­pear on the city’s buses and un­der­ground trains. 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 bikini last year.

It is cus­tom­ary not only in Lon­don but in many other cities of the Euro­pean coun­tries that the in­de­cent and neg­a­tive ads are por­trayed on the buses and trains which we be­lieve hurt the very sen­si­tiv­i­ties of women and also have bad effect on the minds of chil­dren. Es­pe­cially the con­ser­va­tive fam­i­lies, which are in ma­jor­ity in Bri­tain, do not want their chil­dren ex­posed to th­ese un­re­al­is­tic ads. So Sadiq Khan who has only been in of­fice since May, has taken an ap­pre­cia­ble and im­por­tant step af­fect­ing the ev­ery­day lives of Lon­don­ers. One might ask what is so bad about a few posters. The an­swer is they are psy­cho­log­i­cally in­sid­i­ous and, cru­cially, they take away the el­e­ment of choice. Khan’s ban might sound like a small change, but if it pre­vents even one young per­son from feel­ing bad about her body, if it keeps one young girl from de­vel­op­ing anorexia, if it strength­ens the con­fi­dence of even one stu­dent, then surely he has done his job. Com­ing back to Pak­istan, we will also urge our author­i­ties to fol­low the foot­prints of the Lon­don Mayor and those ads or com­mer­cials that are to­tally con­trary to our so­cial val­ues and norms should be to­tally banned. Of­ten our tele­vi­sion chan­nels are seen tele­cast­ing such com­mer­cials, which are in sheer dis­re­gard to our so­cio­cul­tural and re­li­gious val­ues. Though the tele­vi­sion chan­nels would have com­mer­cial con­sid­er­a­tions, but mint­ing money should not be our sole ob­jec­tive rather we also need to ful­fil our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties re­gard­ing up­hold­ing the iden­tity and norms of our cul­ture. We hope that both the PEMRA and the me­dia will ful­fil their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in this re­gard.


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