Instead of creating unachievable goals that he’ll inevitably never see through, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s change is already being felt in the nation’s capital in the transport sector, with the introduction of the one-hour ‘hopper’ bus fare. Now, he’s hellbent on making another aspect of our daily commutes way more bearable.
Unveiling his latest ruling this week to rave reaction he revealed plans to ban body-shaming adverts from the entire London TFL.
While it’s by no means the only advertisement to have made the headlines for its questionable content, Khan used the controversial Protein World ‘Are You Beach Body Ready?’ campaign as an example of the kind of imagery he hopes to banish from the city’s tube stations and bus interiors. The motivator? His daughters.
“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,’ Khan said. ‘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.”
And he’s not alone. As TFL’s Commercial Development Director, Graeme Craig, points out, the advertising featured on public transport cannot and should not be grouped with its TV and magazine-based kin. ‘Customers cannot simply switch off or turn a page if an advertisement offends him’, he said.
In light of this ruling, naysayers have once again come out of the woodwork to brandish the proposal, saying Khan has no right to ‘censor’ advertisements. Another stated that it’s not human bodies that should be filtered out of our tube stations – instead, the focus should be shifted on replacing fast food ads with healthier alternatives, which we agree with. However, it would be nice to enter a tube station and not feel body-shamed. Just sayin’.