Arbitrary Standards…A few people claim that they are offended by the Beach Body Ready advert and ASA claims that they are not

Posted: 2 July, 2015 in ASA Advert Censor, Political Correctness
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beach body ready advert Before investigating the issues raised below we told Protein World that, due to our concerns about a range of health and weight loss claims, the ad could notappear again in its current form.While the ad was prohibited from appearing again solely on those grounds, we undertook a separate investigation to establish whether the ad was in breach of the advertising rules on harm, offence and social responsibility.

A poster for a slimming product, seen on the London Underground network, stated ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY? and featured an image of a toned and athletic woman wearing a bikini.

378 complainants, who raised a range of issues around offence and potential harm, challenged whether:

  1. the ad implied that a body shape which differed from the idealised one presented was not good enough or in some way inferior and was, therefore, offensive; and
  2. the combination of an image of a very slim, toned body and the headline ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY? was socially irresponsible in the context of an ad for a slimming product.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA understood that the Copy Advice team had seen the ad prior to it appearing and advised that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. We recognised that beach body was a relatively well understood term that for some people had connotations of a toned, athletic physique similar to the image of the model in the ad. We considered that it also had a broader meaning – that of feeling sufficiently comfortable and confident with one’s physical appearance to wear swimwear in a public environment. We considered the claim ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY? prompted readers to think about whether they were in the shape they wanted to be for the summer and we did not consider that the accompanying image implied that a different body shape to that shown was not good enough or was inferior. We concluded that the headline and image were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

2. Not upheld

Although we understood the claim Are you beach body ready? invited readers to think about their figures, we did not consider the image of the model would shame women who had different body shapes into believing they needed to take a slimming supplement to feel confident wearing swimwear in public. For that reason, we concluded the ad was not irresponsible.

  1. Secular Vegan says:

    As I have put on my own blog, I think that the advert is misleading as Renee Somerfield, the woman in the photo, is a dietary vegan, hence she is unlikely to use the products advertised; but the ad is in no way offensive.