View Full Version : Spain bans weight ads on TV

18th January 2010, 23:27
Yet another brilliant, brilliant move from Spain. It doesn't nearly go far enough, but it's a step in the right direction


What they've done:

Spain curbs 'body image' ads on television

10pm advertising curfew to be introduced for plastic surgery, slimming products...

Giles Tremlett
Monday 18 January 2010

Spain has stepped up its fight against what the government sees as forces that push girls into anorexia, with the introduction of a law banning so-called "cult of the body" advertising on television before the children's watershed hour.

Peddlers of plastic surgery, slimming products and some beauty treatments will be prevented from advertising before 10pm...

The ban comes in a new broadcasting law that has been approved by the lower chamber of parliament and is being reviewed by the upper house.

It states: "Broadcasters cannot carry advertisements for things that encourage the cult of the body and have a negative impact on self-image – such as slimming products, surgical procedures and beauty treatments – which are based on ideas of social rejection as a result of one's physical image..."

A proposal to block advertising for low-calorie foods was rejected. Spanish legislators decided that the dangers posed by slimming products were worse than those posed by, for example, alcoholic drinks...

Consumer groups...complained that the new law is not powerful enough and there would be enforcement problems.

"The intentions are great but without sanctions they will be useless," says José Luis Colás, the president of the Television and Radio Consumers group.

The beauty and hygiene sector is the third biggest spender on TV advertising in Spain – it spent about €500m in 2008. That year, TV stations broadcast 7,000 advertisements for dieting products and special treatments for slimming, cellulitis or other "body worship" products, as they are known in Spain.

It's hilarious that the writer tries to use the disingenuous word "slimming" when what he's really talk about is starvation. And there are shortcomings in this law; e.g., the fact that diet-food ads are not banned as well (as they should be), and that the ban only applies until 10 PM. But at least it's there for the hours when young girls are most prone to be watching TV, and it targets the worst offenders.

And kudos to the Spanish for realizing that these diet-starvation products are infinitely more harmful than alcoholic drinks. It's a false comparison. Drinking only becomes problematic when it's severely abused, and in Europe especially it's more of a social thing. But diet-starvation and exercise-torture are forms of abuse; they're self-destructive, and as pernicious as the worst kind of narcotics. Banning the advertising is a good move; the only better approach being to ban the products and their peddlers altogether.

26th April 2010, 10:32
<br>The contrast in cultures here is quite stark.

At the same time that Spain is banning commercials promoting body hatred, the American networks are banning commercials that promote body love.

One country is trying to eradicate visuals with a negative impact on self-image; the other is trying to suppress visuals that could have a positive impact on self-image.

Spain is banning ads promoting diet-starvation and body disfigurement (a.k.a. "cosmetic surgery"). America is banning beautifully filmed ads featuring plus-size beauty.

Sanity versus insanity.

It is Spain, of course, that has this matter in the right perspective. Spain recognizes that the kinds of commercials that are <i>truly</I> shameful, and could be damaging to young viewers, and deserve to be censored, are those that propagandize dieting and gym-torture. It is the promotion of emaciation that is vulgar, the advocation of starving that is obscene.

Every commercial produced by diet profiteers or gym conglomerates should be labelled as being unsuitable for viewing by minors and yanked off the air.

By contrast, not only should the showing of plus-size models on television not be banned or suppressed; it should be <i>mandated</I>--as a health initiative.* Such images should be required viewing, especially for young people, so that girls will grow up viewing full female figures as natural, and boys will grow up recognizing Classical, womanly curves as attractive.

Indeed, it is a false equivalency to say that commercials showing plus-size models in lingerie should be allowed because commercials showing minus-size models in lingerie are allowed. The latter should <i>not</i> be allowed. Since images of anorexic-looking models have been shown to trigger anorexia and other eating disorders, all of the Victoria's Secret ads should be shelved until and unless the company begins hiring fuller-figured models.

It is wrong of a plus-size company to say, "Our ads should run because theirs run." In fact, what they should be contending is, "Our ads should run, while theirs should <i>not</I>--because their ads ruin women's self-esteem, while ours enhance it."

That is the wisdom of the Spanish approach.

Curvaceous Chloe Agnew, personifying the kind of soft, natural, timeless beauty that should be required viewing for American youth.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/ca/chloe09.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/ca/chloe09a.jpg" border="0" title="Click to enlarge" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>(*However, the introduction of mature <i>themes</i> in commercials is a separate issue. The inclusion of such content <i>does</i> justify a shift to a later time slot, regardless of models' size.)