A Norwegian city has banned adverts featuring semi-naked models in a bid to address negative body image issues, and campaigners are calling on other countries to follow suit.
Advertisers will no longer be able to show images of male or female bikini and underwear models in public spaces in Trondheim, the country’s third-largest city.
On Tuesday council officials voted to remove all billboards and posters that could be seen to contribute to body image issues.
The new policy reads: “No advertising that conveys a false image of the model/models’ appearance and contributes to a negative body image will be permitted.
“As a minimum, advertisements in which body shapes have been retouched should be marked as such.”
Caitlin Roper, campaigns manager at anti-objectification movement Collective Shout, told The Independent: “It’s great to see Trondheim being proactive about these pressing concerns. Advertisers have had free reign for too long.
“In combatting body image issues, a community wide approach is required. This is just one piece in the puzzle, but it is an important one.
“We have long argued that advertising that reduces women to sexual objects for men’s use and entertainment should have no place in a progressive society.
“I feel other countries such as the UK would welcome similar action on these issues.”
Details of how the ban in Trondheim will be enforced are still being discussed by the council.
Councillor Ottar Michelsen told NRK: “We need to think about what types of advertising we help to spread.”
“We should not be spreading images that contribute to an increased body image pressure.”
Last April a petition to remove controversial ‘Beach Body Ready’ bikini protein adverts from the London Underground reached 50,000 signatures within days and prompted a formal investigation.
Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last month announced it has launched a detailed investigation into sexism in adverts.
Commercials that encourage negative body image in children and young people will be given particular precedence in the study.
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