NEWS: Labour attacks images of women

The advertising industry has been accused of damaging the health of the British people by using images that pressurise them into going on dangerous crash diets.

The advertising industry has been accused of damaging the health of the

British people by using images that pressurise them into going on

dangerous crash diets.



The Labour MP, Alice Mahon, said this week: ‘We are being bombarded and

subjected to a tyranny of thinness. We see all the subliminal messages

on billboards and television screens trying to tell us that we cannot

look nice unless we imitate models, who look too thin anyway.



‘The image-makers put enormous pressure on women and girls to be

unhealthily thin,’ she added.



Mahon also attacked advertising for the pounds 1 billion a year diet

industry. She said the ads helped to maintain the myth of ‘miracle’

weight loss.



Instead, people should be advised to eat sensibly and to take regular

exercise, Mahon argued.



She told the House of Commons: ‘The dieting industry and the ad industry

are contributing to the increasingly bad health of the nation.’



Demanding curbs on ads for slimming aids, Mahon continued: ‘The diet

industry can claim almost anything it likes about its products. When

those products fail, as they invariably do, the woman blames herself and

moves on to the next useless and usually expensive product.’



While conceding that the Advertising Standards Authority has recognised

the problem, she said the British code of advertising practice should be

tightened up. Mahon argued that publishers should be made to obtain a

certificate of pre-clearance from the ASA, and that ads should not make

any reference to the amount or speed of weight loss, or suggest it is

desirable to be underweight. The use of underweight models in ads should

be banned, she added.



Mahon called for the ASA to review its rules on slimming advertising

every year.



The Labour MP was introducing a backbench bill to regulate the diet

industry, but it is unlikely to become law because of a lack of

Parliamentary time.



Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off Campaign's relaunch than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).