Women are turned off products advertised by skinny models and celebrities

Researchers find they need to be used 'subtly' to boost sales

Women are turned off from buying products endorsed by skinny models and celebrities, a study has found.

Researchers at Warwick Business School found women are less likely to buy products if they are placed next to large scale or close-up images of female models and celebrities, for example Miranda Kerr (pictured).

It was found sales only increase if subtle images are used instead.

Women participants were shown pages from magazines which contained different adverts for products such as vodka.

Some had adverts which featured no model, others had adverts featuring a bikini-clad model on the opposite page to a picture of the vodka, subtly exposing them to the female image, while the third group were given pictures of the model next to the vodka.

Dr Tamara Ansons, researcher on the study, which was published in a paper entitled Defensive Reactions to Slim Female Images In Advertising: The Moderating Role of Mode of Exposure, said a skinny model triggers scorn in women, helping them feel better about the way they look.

She added: ‘We showed that when consumers are blatantly exposed to idealised images of thin and beautiful women they are more likely to use a defensive coping strategy to boost self-evaluation by denigrating the pictured woman.

‘This can negatively affect the products these models endorse through the transfer of the negative evaluation of the model to the endorsed product.

‘However when subtly exposed to these perfectly shaped models consumers do not engage in defensive coping by disparaging the model.

‘Instead it leads to negative self-evaluation but does not interfere with their evaluation of the pictured model. Thus, the generally positive evaluation of the model leads to a favourable reaction to the product she is endorsing.’

Do you disagree with this study? Or are you put off products advertised by skinny female celebrities? Let us know in the comments below.

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