South Korea's Seoul Metro to remove plastic surgery ads by 2022

Seoul's plastic surgery advertisements have been accused of fuelling an unhealthy obsession with body image. PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Advertisements for plastic surgeries are expected to disappear from subway stations in the South Korean capital of Seoul by 2022, the operator of the city's metropolitan railway system has said.

Seoul Metro said on Tuesday (Nov 28) the operator will impose a total ban on plastic surgery advertising when making contracts with advertising agencies from now on and enforce a stricter review of advertisements by launching a new review board.

The plans were made following many complaints from the public, according to the Seoul Metro. More than 1,180 complaints have been filed regarding subway advertisements on Line No. 1 to 4, and 91 per cent of them were related to plastic surgery or women.

Such advertisements have been accused of encouraging lookism - the idea that looks are supreme - and creating an unhealthy and distorted view of women's body images, the operator said.

The Seoul Metro aims to get rid of all commercial advertisements from 40 subway stations by 2022. The advertisements in City Hall Station, Sinseol-dong Station, Seongsu Station, Yangcheon-gu Office Station, Gyeongbokgung Station, Anguk Station, Euljiro 3-ga Station, Sinjeong Station and Gimpo Airport Station will be removed this year.

The spaces will be replaced with advertisements related to art and culture.

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