Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

JOWELL: I'LL BAN SEXIST ADVERTS ON TUBE; Mayoral Hopeful Vows to Outlaw 'Unrealistic' Images of Women's bodiesJowell: Sexist Ads on Tube Can Undermine Women's Health

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

JOWELL: I'LL BAN SEXIST ADVERTS ON TUBE; Mayoral Hopeful Vows to Outlaw 'Unrealistic' Images of Women's bodiesJowell: Sexist Ads on Tube Can Undermine Women's Health

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

A CRACKDOWN on "sexist" adverts on London's Tube stations and buses was promised by Dame Tessa Jowell today.

The Labour Mayoral hopeful vowed to ban campaigns such as the "Are you beach body ready?" posters that generated hundreds of complaints and were defaced by furious commuters.

Dame Tessa said images of emaciated and unhealthylooking models will be outlawed on the public transport system if she becomes Mayor. "Women ought to be able to travel in an environment which doesn't constantly demean them or present an unrealistic image of women's bodies," she told the Evening Standard.

"Young women need support to be more confident about their bodies and their life chances. They need help to ensure they have the confidence to focus on their talents rather than their tummies."

Another ad that infuriated many travellers showed a blonde with the slogan: "We can't swap your missus for a Swedish supermodel, but we can swap your money for her Krona." Tighter guidelines would be drawn up by Transport for London -- which has poster sites across the capital, including Underground stations, carriages, platforms and buses -- to filter out "unrealistic body images".

The crackdown is part of a package of policies to promote equality for London women, including targets for skills training places and forcing bigger companies to check whether they are paying women employees the same as men for similar work.

Dame Tessa said sexist ads could "destroy women's confidence" and affect their mental and physical health.

Lorna Garner, of the eating disorders charity Beat, welcomed the pledge, saying inappropriate posters contributed to illnesses such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. She said: "With the 'beach body' poster it was not so much the imagery as the message behind it that was wrong -- that unless you look like the model in the poster then you should not take your kit off on the beach. …

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