20:41 GMT09 August 2020
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    The billboard portrays a bunch of white kids and not a single minorirty character – leading some users to suggest that the billboard specifically targeted white people.

    A pro-sterilisation billboard spotted in London has reignited the conversation about multiculturalism and diversity.

    The message, apparently put up in North London's Holloway Road, read: “Imagine a city less crowed [sic]… do your part–get sterilised! Yay!”

    Notably, all of the cartoonish kids on the billboard are white, raising questions among social media users over whether it appealed specifically to white people.

    There has been no word on what firm is behind the ad, but government agencies are certainly more likely to have concerns over population than corporations.

    Embracing Diversity

    The advertising policy in the UK is aimed at eliminating racial stereotyping and increasing diversity. The national advertising watchdog states in its guidelines that “advertisers should avoid depicting racial stereotypes in their advertising and should not include anything which may cause offence on the grounds of race”.

    “Black, Asian, and minority ethnic” (BAME) people are increasingly being featured in advertisements in the UK. According to a 2018 study of over 2,000 ads from the top 50 ad spenders by Lloyd Banking Group, the share of BAME characters in adverts doubled in 2015-2018 from 12 to 25 percent – while this group accounts for nearly 14 percent of the population. The study also points out, however, that 3 in 5 ads feature all or a majority of white people (the share of all-white ads is not specified).

    According to another study by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, ethnic diversity within UK ad agencies is at its “highest recorded level”.

    More and more international brands are also embracing diversity, but some of them still court controversy over perceived racism in their ads – take, for instance, H&M’s ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’ hoodie or Heineken’s ‘lighter is better’ commercial.

    The British government has also seen some virtue-signalling on the part of the leftists this year after putting warnings about carrying knives inside takeaway chicken boxes – many critics, including lawmakers, thought the campaign targeted chicken shops because that’s where young black people go.

    A Declining Fertility

    According to a 2019 report published by the Population Division of the United Nations' Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the number of children aged 0-4 in Europe (including Russia but excluding Turkey), the US and Canada hit its peak around 1960, when it was estimated to total 80.1 million; this figure is projected to drop to 60.7 million next year. Latin America and the Caribbean hit its peak population of 0-4 year-old children in around 1995, when they were estimated to number 56.9 million; this figure is projected to drop to 51.7 million by next year. The population of 0-4 year-old children outside Africa only hit its peak in around 2010, when it was estimated to be 486.3 million; this figure has plateaued – it was estimated at 485.2 million in 2015 and is estimated to total 478.0 million next year. 

    These lower childbirth figures reflect lower fertility; the UK's total fertility rate was 1.8 births per woman in 2016 according to the World Bank, vs. 2.69 in 1960. Lower fertility rates are not limited to 'white' countries; Iran, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Brazil, and Mexico have all seen their fertility rates drop from over six children per woman in the 1960's to around two births per woman, the replacement rate. In the 21st century, population growth is expected to be driven by over-fertility in Africa and longer lifespans throughout the world. 

    overpopulation, sterilization, billboard, London
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