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Seoul Metro to remove plastic surgery ads

Seoul Metro said Sunday it would introduce a ban advertisements for plastic surgery in  Seoul’s subway stations.

Seoul Metro said the operator will impose a total ban on plastic surgery advertising when making contracts with advertising agencies from now, 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 percent of them were related to plastic surgery or women.

Such advertisements have been accused of encouraging lookism and creating an unhealthy and distorted view of women’s body images, the operator said.

Seoul Metro will ban the ads in all the new contracts it signs with advertising agencies. However, some existing contracts last five years, so the phaseout is not expected to be complete until 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.

By Park Ju-young (

This article has been updated to clarify that the ban is being introduced now and will not achieve complete coverage until 2022, rather than being introduced in 2022. – Ed.
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