France may outlaw ‘anorexic’ images

Fines of up to US $47,000, and possibly even imprisonment, would be slapped on advertisers and others who persist in showcasing dangerously thin models.

In a move with potential implications for Canadian marketers, the National Assembly of France passed a bill yesterday that, if ratified, would make it illegal for anyone – including advertisers, fashion magazines and websites – to promote extreme thinness.

Under the proposed law, judges would have the power to imprison and fine offenders up to $47,000 if found guilty of inciting others to deprive themselves of food to an ‘excessive’ degree.

Last year – after the anorexia-linked death of a Brazilian fashion model – Spain banned ultra-thin models from catwalks. And last week, French lawmakers and fashion industry members signed a non-binding charter in the same vein.