London’s New Muslim Mayor Bans Sexy Ads On City Buses, Subway

Sadia Khan was elected mayor of London in a closely watched election last month. He took office on May 9, and is now banning sex ads in the city's subway system and on city buses. Photo courtesy of United Kingdom archives

LONDON, June 14 (UPI) — London Mayor Sadia Khan is cracking down on sexy ads on the city’s buses and subway that he says make women ashamed of their bodies.

City buses and subway stations will be banned from allowing ads that pressure people to conform to an “unrealistic or unhealthy body shape,” the mayor said Monday.

“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 told the United Kingdom’s Evening Standard. “It is high time it came to an end.”

An ad for Protein World, a maker of dietary supplements, included the words “Are you beach body ready?” with a photo of a woman in a bikini. When it appeared in April 2015, it was defaced in subway stations throughout London.

Protein World said the model in the ad had a “healthy figure” and said the ad didn’t imply everyone should look like the model.

Transport for London said in a statement it won’t allow allow ads that “could reasonably be seen as likely to cause pressure to conform to an unrealistic or unhealthy body shape, or as likely to create body-confidence issues, particularly among young people.”

Unlike ads elsewhere, passengers on public transportation “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,” Graeme Craig, the agency’s commercial development director, told the Evening Standard.

Khan was elected mayor of London in May of 2015, succeeding two-term mayor Boris Johnson. He is the first Muslim to become mayor of London. Some critics say he wants to clamp down on racy images of women because of his faith. Khan’s office declined to comment on this.


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