London Mayor Sadiq Khan set to ban 'body shaming' ads from appearing on the Tube
London Mayor Sadiq Khan is moving to ban ads promoting an "unhealthy" or "unrealistic" body image from appearing on London's Tube and bus network from July onwards.
Following through on his election promise, the politician has said he will issue a total ban on campaigns that could "pressurise people" to conform to idealised body standards.
"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," he said.
“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 new policy does not include all images of people in their underwear or swimming gear, but the move will affect a portion of the 12,000 ads which run on the Tube each year. The Mayor's office also revealed that it has asked Transport for London (TfL) to partner with advertising giants like Exterion Media and JCDecaux to ensure brands are complying with the new rules.
TfL named Exterion as the media partner for its £1.5bn rail advertising account back in March to oversee the advertising space and develop new technology across London's transport network.
The move to spike so-called 'body shaming' ads before they feature on the underground follows a high profile backlash against against the controversial 2015 'Beach Body Ready' underground campaign (above) from Protein World which was OK-d by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) despite receiving over 400 complaints from commuters.
Other marketing stunts, like a series of posters from Match.com which drew ire for describing freckles as an 'imperfection', have also prompted debate about the language and images used in Tube ads.
Earlier this year, the ASA revealed plans to investigate the way it regulates ads perceived to be objectifying or sexualising women in light of increasing political and public discussion around equality issues.