Transport for London have announced that they will remove a controversial advert from fitness brand Protein World. The campaign for their weight loss range received heavy criticism for featuring a toned woman alongside the caption 'Are you beach body ready?' with many arguing that the advert conveys a negative body image and 'body-shames' those who don't have abs or look like the model in the photo.
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The Protein World advert has sparked nationwide controversy
"This advertisement will begin to be removed from our network as scheduled from tomorrow," a TFL spokesperson said on Wednesday. "We have received one complaint about it and we will be guided by the Committee of Advertising Practice and Advertising Standards Authority if a similar advert were to be submitted again."
The decision comes ahead of a mass protest against the posters set to take place in Hyde Park, London on Saturday.
"This was never about suggesting that people shouldn't try to get fit if they want to," a statement read on the protest's Facebook page. "If having rippling abs is your thing, more power to you. I bet you rock them. But I'm so tired of it being an expectation.
"The idea that your body should be covered up and hidden away if it doesn't meet these bizarrely specific requirements… I'm over it, you guys. And judging by the response we've gotten on Twitter, it looks like you are too."
Commuters have been defacing the adverts
In the meantime, many commuters have been defacing the adverts with messages and slogans such as #EveryBodyIsReady.
"We have zero tolerance towards graffiti on the network and take action to prevent it and remove it," added the TFL spokesperson.
There have been numerous calls from the public to have the adverts taken down – one petition to have the campaign banned garnered over 50,000 signatures. Meanwhile, over 200 complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Association, who are set to meet with the protein shake company this week to discuss its campaign and advertising policy.