The new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is set to ban ads from London's public transport networks which could promote body shaming.
According to Business Insider UK, the Mayor – who was elected in May – has announced that from next month no advertisements which are "likely to cause pressure to conform to an unrealistic or unhealthy body shape" will appear on the city's buses or tubes.
During his election campaign last year, Khan promised to remove such images from London's public transport lines after more than 70,000 people signed a petition against a Protein World ad which asked: "Are you beach body ready?"
Apparently, like herpes, Protein World is back. Don't have time or energy this year, but in loving memory: pic.twitter.com/4kYexuqsB9
— Rhiannon L Cosslett (@rhiannonlucyc) May 26, 2016
In a press release which was posted to the mayor's website yesterday Khan said: “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.”
A spokesperson for Transport for London – the group who will enforce the move – recognised the importance of the ban by acknowledging that commuters cannot avoid the advertising which appears on public transport.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 13, 2016
They said: “Advertising on our network is unlike TV, online and print media. Our customers cannot simply switch off or turn a page if an advertisement offends or upsets them."
With so many people being affected by body shaming, we think it's great that the issue is being tackled in such a public way.