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Body-shaming ads to be banned on London transport

Starting next month, ads that promote negative body images will be banned across the Transport for London network. The ads that will be ban are ones that promote unhealthy or unrealistic body images.

In 2015, the advertising watchdog received around 350 complaints about a weight-loss advertisement that asked people if they were beach body ready.

The Protein World “beach body ready” promotional posters were defaced and a petition calling for the ads to be removed made its rounds. However, the Advertising Standards Agency watchdog ruled that the advertisement, which depicted a female in a bikini, was not offensive nor was it irresponsible.

Khan said that he was extremely concerned about this kind of advertising, which can demean people. He said such ads can make them feel ashamed of their bodies and it was time for it to come to an end.

The mayor said there would be no impact on TFL’s income as a result of the ban. He also asked TFL and its advertising partners to setup a group to ensure the policy would be under regular review.

Graeme Craig, the Commercial Development Director of the TFL, said that advertising on the TFL network is not like advertising on the internet, TV or print because customers can’t switch off or turn a page if an advert offends them.

Craig said they want to encourage great advertising that enhances the transport network.

On BBC’s Facebook page, there were a lot of people who praised the mayor’s initiative, with one person saying to ban it because they don’t want their kids looking at it.

However, not everyone is happy with the ban, with some taking to Twitter to express their displeasure.

Another social media user asked what happened to free speech and what happened to not being offended by everything.

Val Shawcross, the deputy mayor for transport, said the ban is not meant as a moral judgement and it is just the mayor’s office working with the advertising industry to ensure images were not used that were potentially harmful to the mental health of young people and how they viewed themselves.

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