June 14, 2016 12:55 pm

Does this image promote unhealthy body image? London mayor bans ‘unrealistic’ body shape ads

London is banning any ads that promote an unhealthy body image starting next month.

(Catherine Wylie/Pa, File via AP)
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She’s standing in a yellow bikini with a timely question around her: Are you beach body ready? It was a weight loss advertisement that sparked outrage in London, U.K. And in a controversial move, the city’s mayor banned any ads that promote “unhealthy body image” on London’s subway network starting next month.

From July 2016 onwards, advertising that could cause pressure for an “unrealistic or unhealthy body shape” will be forbidden from London’s tubes.

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“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,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement Tuesday.

In 2015, the ad for a weight loss supplement featuring a woman in a yellow bikini lead to 378 complaints to the city’s Advertising Standards Authority, making it one of the most complained about ads that year.

This time around, the city’s officials are trying to stop these contentious ads from making their way onto public spaces in the first place.

They suggest that subways aren’t the same as billboards or magazines – you’re in an enclosed space while riding underground so advertisements reach into a commuter’s personal space.

  • With files from the Associated Press

carmen.chai@globalnews.ca

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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