Norway city bans scantily-clad ads

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Norway city bans scantily-clad ads
Would this photo make the cut? The city's ban may be hard to put into practice. Photo: Scanpix

In a bid to combat negative body image, Norway's third-largest city has introduced a ban on ads featuring models in various states of undress.


Muscle-bound men in their underwear and female bikini models have been banned from Trondheim. 
Well, from publicly-owned advertising space, anyway. 
City officials on Tuesday approved a ban on all advertising that could contribute to negative body image issues. 
The ban will apply to all municipal-owned advertising space throughout the city. 
“Advertising that is offensive or discriminatory against groups or individuals will not be allowed, nor will advertising that conveys a false image of the model/models’ appearance and contributes to a negative body image,” the text of the new advertising policy reads, according to broadcaster NRK
“At a minimum, advertisements in which body shapes have been retouched should be marked as such,” it adds. 
City councillor Ottar Michelsen of the Socialist Left Party said the city bears a responsibility to spare residents from a sense that they need to to achieve the ‘perfect body’. 
“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,” he told NRK. 
While city councillor Yngve Brox of the Conservatives agreed that it is important to combat an unrealistic body image, he warned that the task of banning ads would be “hopeless”.
“We can’t ban and regulate our way to the society we want to have in all areas. Then we’ll have to regulate in fine details what kind of images are okay and that is hopeless,” he told NRK. 
Michelsen granted that the ban would come down to "a question of interpretation" but said getting the regulations on the books was a necessary first step.
"What is important is that we have a rule that allows us to take this on," he said.  
The broadcaster reported that just how the ban would work and who would enforce it have not yet been decided. 



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