• Sadiq Khan has been praised by feminists, parents and others for his decision to ban what he calls “body shaming” advertisements on London Transport. (Twitter)Source: Twitter
The mayor is tackling body shaming on public transport.
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

14 Jun 2016 - 10:54 AM  UPDATED 16 Jun 2016 - 10:51 AM

Adverts promoting negative body images will be banned across public transport in London from next month, as the new mayor cracks down on advertising which makes women ashamed of their bodies.

As part of his mayoral election manifesto, Sadiq Khan pledged to ban ads promoting "unhealthy or unrealistic" body images.

"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," Khan 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."

Last year a weight-loss advert featuring a bikini-clad women, which asked customers "Are you beach body ready?" prompted 378 complaints to the advertsing watchdog, and more than 70,000 people signed a Change.org petition asking for it to be banned.

While the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruled the Protein World advert was neither offensive nor irresponsible, some angry commuters took matters into their own hands.

Khan has asked Transport for London (TfL) to set up its own steering committee to advise advertising partners of the new policy and ensure adverts adhere to the ASA regulations.

Graeme Craig, TfL commercial development director, said advertising on public transport was unlike TV, online or print media.

"Our customers cannot simply switch off or turn a page if an advertisement offends or upsets them and we have a duty to ensure the copy we carry reflects that unique environment," Craig said.

"We want to encourage great advertising that engages people and enhances the transport network."

While some people have claimed the Mayor's decree encourages a nanny-state mentality, it has been met with a mostly positive response from Londoners.