The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is taking action against "adverts that promote unrealistic expectations about body image and health" by instructing the city's transport network, Transport for London (TfL), to ban them.
Khan, who was elected in May, said all running advertisements that "can demean people, particularly women," must be banned.
According to The Guardian, the mayor has pledged to tackle body-shaming advertisements and wants no one travelling on public transportation to feel "pressurized."
"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," said Khan in a statement, reports The Guardian.
"Nobody should feel pressurized, 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 ban is reportedly stemmed from an advertisement by Protein World, showing the body of a thin model with the tagline "Are You Beach Body Ready?" The ad was removed by the Advertising Standards Agency last year after receiving more than 360 complaints and a Change.org petition which attracted 70,000 signatures.
As noted by The Guardian, the company was accused of "directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product."
Partnering with advertising agencies, Exterion Media and JaCDecaux, Transport for London will "monitor and review compliance with rules" going forward. This is in thanks to Khan's office setting up a "steering group" for the transportation network.
"Advertising on our network is unlike TV, online and print media," TfL’s commercial development director, Graeme Craig, said in a statement. "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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