Stockholm authorities have voted to exclude sexist and racist advertising from all public spaces across the Swedish capital; and the law, proposed in a bid to secure citizens from images "offensive, or upsetting in any way" is due to come into effect within a month, according to The Local.
Under the new legislation, essentially opposed by solely one of the eight parties on the city council, the Swedish advertising watchdog has been granted the right to forcibly remove offensive ads on any of the city’s 700 billboards in the next 24 hours after they appear.
According to Jacqui Hunt, the director of Equality Now’s European office, the way the two genders are portrayed in ads has a "drip-drip-drip effect" on society, reshaping respective social norms, and should by no means be neglected.
"Advertising is part of a bigger picture. By acknowledging all the factors that contribute to an environment where women are allotted a lesser role, we can start to address the issues and forge a society where all can thrive equally," Hunt was quoted by The Independent as saying.
The Swedish authorities’ move appears to be in line with the general trend, which has gained momentum in the past few years across Europe and the US. In a recent move, London mayor Sadiq Kahn called for the removal of body shaming ads in the British capital. A similar ban is also expected to come into effect in Berlin beginning in 2019, as soon as the German boroughs transfer the power to regulate advertising to the citywide government.
Stockholm has banned sexist advertising in public spaces. Ads which "present women or men as simply sex objects", "show a stereotypical image of gender roles”, or "in any other demeaning fashion are obviously sexually discriminatory” are now banned. https://t.co/lVlr1JASV1— Green Future News (@GreenFutureNews) 12 июня 2018 г.
In a separate move, the UK is pushing forward with its plans to ban "upskirting," which is when someone points a camera up a woman’s skirt and takes a photo, under a new law currently debated in Parliament. If passed, the legislation would impose on perpetrators prison sentences of up to two years.
Separately, there have recently been multiple reports of plus-size models decisively conquering the demanding world of fashion, with some of them, like Ashley Graham and Bree Kish, now representing a variety of clothes brands, including swimwear, as well as campaigning against the editing of their pictures.