Reported in the News Letter on January 10, 1957: Film poster of scantily-clad dancing girl is banned

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The Anita Ekberg poster which was criticised in the House of Lords as “bordering on the obscene” but was passed for exhibition by London County Council, has now been banned by the poster advertising industry.

The industry’s joint censorship committee stated yesterday that they had decided to advise all members not to exhibit the poster which shows the scantily-clad, reclining figure of Miss Ekberg as a dancing girl in her latest film [Zarak].

Mr H H Mallatratt said: “The decision means that the poster will be banned on 99 per cent of the poster advertising sites in Britain. It can now only be shown outside cinemas and on the few private sites over which the Poster Advertising Association have no control.”

At yesterday’s meeting the joint censorship committee also banned a poster advertising a French film “The Lost Continent”. During the last year it has considered 17 posters, banned 11 of them and requested modification to two others. Founded in 1890 it is the oldest voluntary censorship body in advertising.

Immediately the banning decision was made known, officials of Columbia Pictures Ltd gave instructions for the poster to be exhibited wherever possible on sites other than those controlled by the poster advertising industry.