This ‘Beach Body Ready’ Ad Has Been Ruled ‘Not Offensive’ By Watchdog. Do You Agree?

After much controversy, the ASA rules that Protein World's campaign doesn't objectify women.

We were a little bit surprised and confused this morning when we read the Advertising Standards Authority’s verdict on Protein World’s controversial advertising campaign this morning.

In case you need a little re-cap, only a few months ago posters splashing a skinny woman in a yellow bikini across station banners sparked outrage and condemnation. The slogan – ‘are you beach body ready?’ – sat uncomfortably when coupled with the product: a slimming drink. Many women called out the posters as ‘body-shaming’.

The momentum gathered pace quickly, posters were defaced, a hashtag was born (#BeachBodyNotSorry) and the ASA banned the ads from London tube stations in April after receiving 378 complaints.

Bearing this in mind, the news today had us scratching our heads a little bit, as the Advertising Standards Authority has now ruled that the advert does not ‘shame’ women into losing weight and therefore has cleared it.

In a twofold assessment it furthered:

‘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.’

It added:

‘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.’

No further action necessary? Do you agree with this ASA ruling? Let us know your thoughts – we’d love to hear from you.

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