Posters asking commuters if they are beach body ready are under investigation after a few people whinged to the advert censors ASA after seeing the posters on London's Tube network.
Alongside a picture of a woman in a bikini, the adverts for dietary company Protein World ask: Are you beach body ready? in capital letters.
A few hundred people signed an online petition calling for the posters to be banned. The petition whinged:
Protein World is directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product.
A spokeswoman for the Advertising Standards Authority confirmed on Monday that it had received 33 complaints about the campaign. The spokeswoman said typical complaints have included claims the advert is offensive , harmful and that the
posters promote the idea that only one type of body is fit for the beach .
Protein World said in a statement that it would not remove the adverts from the Underground network, adding:
It is a shame that in 2015 there are still a minority who aren't focusing on celebrating those who aspire to be healthier, fitter and stronger.
Update: The beach body unready are massing in Hyde Park
28th April 2015. See article
Thousands of beach body unready people have signed an online petition for the posters, for Protein World weight-loss products, to be banned from London Underground stations. Others have organised a taking back the beach protest, set for London's
Hyde Park on Saturday .
The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received 216 complaints with the general nature being that the ad is offensive, irresponsible and harmful because it promotes an unhealthy body image .
The Facebook page for Saturday's demonstration at 3pm reads: Are you a size 24? Come on down, beautiful!!
The online petition reads:
Protein World is directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product. Perhaps not everyone's priority is having a 'beach body'.
Update: Transport for London takes down Protein World posters
29th April 2015. See article
A controversial ad campaign featuring a bikini-wearing model that asks Are you beach body ready? is to be removed from London Underground ahead of a planned mass protest this weekend.
Transport for London said the ads promoting Protein World weight-loss product will be replaced from Wednesday because they have come to the end of their three-week contract period. It is coming to a natural end, a spokesman said, adding that the
campaign did not contravene TFL's advertising standards.
More than 200 people have complained about the ads to the ASA. The advert censor is meeting Protein World on Wednesday to discuss its advertising policy.
A taking back the beach protest has been organised to take place in London's Hyde Park on Saturday. More than 400 people are expected to attend. By midday on Tuesday more than 50,000 people had signed an online petition calling on Protein World to
take down the ads.
Update: Heavyweight censors weigh in
30th April 2015. See article
Britain's PC censors of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have weighed in and banned the Protein World's Beach Body Ready adverts.
The advert censors announced that the posters are immediately banned on grounds of 'concerns' about weight loss claims, and that the ASA has launched a follow up investigation to consider the political correctness issues. The ASA said:
We've met with Protein World to discuss its Are you beach body ready? ad campaign.
It's coming down in the next three days and, due to our concerns about a range of health and weight loss claims made in the ad, it can't appear again in its current form.
Although the ad won't appear in the meantime, we've launched an investigation to establish if it breaks harm and offence rules or is socially irresponsible.
We will now carefully and objectively explore the complaints that have prompted concerns around body confidence and promptly publish our findings.
Meanwhile the Change.org petition calling for the ads to be removed has now reached about 60,000 signatures.
Offsite Report: The Beach Body Unready in Hyde Park
3rd May 2015. See article