Arts News


Endless the artist launches mock billboard campaign in London


Public stunt reveals brands still enjoy low barriers to showcase body shaming advertising, despite industry body crackdown plans

The London artist known as Endless, launched a citywide billboard campaign this week to raise awareness of the power that brands still have to showcase subversive body shaming adverts. The artist unveiled his own mock adverts based on Protein World’s highly contested “Are you beach body ready?” posters displayed across the London Underground network in 2015, to highlight the ease of which brands are still able to display such imagery.

This art stunt comes in light of increasing media attention of the impact such adverts are having on society, and the ongoing consultation by the Committee of Advertising Practice (Cap), to crackdown on adverts that perpetuate sexist stereotypes.

The message behind the artwork on the billboard is meant to emphasise how brands can shape society's life expectations, ambitions and habits through powerful advertising techniques. It is also meant to highlight how such techniques create uproar amongst the public yet still help brands sell their products.

Commenting on the artwork, Endless said  “We live in a time where people are more conscious than ever about the way they look. It has created a perfect storm for brands to sell products that offer a quick fix solution to often man-made, material problems. Even though provocative adverts have received a lot of negative press recently, is it fair to outright ban public use of such imagery? Wouldn’t it be wiser to make society clued up about these types of adverts, to reduce the impact it is having on people, instead?”

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Photo, Crowds enjoying Garden of Light, by TILT. Lumiere London 2016, produced by Artichoke, supported by Mayor of London. Credit Matthew Andrews 2016.

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Photo, Jennie Gill, Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield. Photo Our Favourite Places / Nigel Barker for Yorkshire Artspace.