Tessa Jowell to ban sexist advertising on London transport

Sexist advertising depicting women with an "unrealistic body image" will be banned from public transport in London under new plans by Labour's frontrunner to be the next London mayor.

The proposal by former Olympics minister Tessa Jowell, would outlaw posters such as the controversial "Are you beach body ready?" advert by weight loss company Protein World, from appearing on London's transport network.

"Despite the progress that has been made, it is extraordinary that London transport this year carried the 'Beach Body Ready' adverts," a spokesperson for Jowell said.

"That will stop if she becomes Mayor."

Jowell said the ban was necessary to promote equality and make women feel safe travelling around the capital.

She said she wanted to give women the confidence to "focus on their talents rather than their tummies."

Under the plans, Transport for London guidelines will be directed to change their advertising guidelines to "ensure that London’s public transport network does not contribute to the portrayal of an unrealistic body image."

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received hundreds of complaints about the Protein World advert earlier this year and the billboards were defaced in a series of Tube stations.

However, the ASA rejected all the complaints, stating that the advert was neither offensive nor irresponsible.