On London’s transit network, images of semi-naked models are to become a thing of the past. This week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a ban on advertising deemed to be body-shaming across London’s subways and buses. In a statement to the press Khan said:
The announcement by mayor Khan doesn’t come out of the blue. A pledge to ban unhealthy or unrealistic body images was actually part of his election manifesto. The ban also follows a major debate last year over an advertisement for protein supplements displayed throughout the tube, which displayed the question “Are you beach body ready?” accompanied by a photo of a very thin model in a bikini. Following 378 complaints from the public, Britain’s Advertising Standards Association investigated the ad but ultimately ruled that it was not offensive. Protests nonetheless continued, with a rally in London’s Hyde Park joining up with a widespread but unofficial defacing campaign. The advertiser in question, it should be noted, only helped to fuel this anger by its clueless, offensive response that suggested its detractors were mentally ill.