The UK Advertising Standards Authority has today ruled that the model featured in an advertisement which promoted the opening of the new Saint Laurent shop in London, is not too skinny.
The ASA was investigating a compliant that the advertisement was irresponsible because it featured a model that was unhealthily thin. The ad in question, published in The Times newspaper, featured a black and white image of a model wearing a dress and throwing her head back (not image featured). When questioned, Saint Laurent Paris indicated that they did not agree with the complainant’s view that the model was unhealthily thin but reportedly did not provide a detailed response. Nonetheless, the ASA noted that while the model used in the ad had very long, slim legs, they were generally in proportion with the rest of her body and that while she was very slim, they did not consider her to be unhealthily underweight. They did not uphold the complaint, ruling that the advert was not irresponsible!
Evidence suggests that people in the UK are experiencing serious body image problems and a growing body of scientific evidence reinforces the link between negative body image and exposure to idealized images. A recent study found that one in four people are depressed about their body and another study found that almost a third of women say that they would sacrifice a year of their lives to achieve the ideal body weight and shape. Just last month Shannon Bradley-Colleary, a blogger who writes about body image issues, started an E-petition to convince Yves Saint Laurent’s CEO Francesca Bellettini to stop using “seemingly malnourished” models in the brand’s advertisements.Within days she had several thousand signatures. In relation to the above image, Bradley-Colleary stated
“I think we’ve all become accustomed to seeing women whose bodies are simply animate hangers for clothing. But even with my high tolerance for ultra-thin models this one struck me as particularly cruel.”
The Advertising Standards Authority is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media, ensuring that advertisements are truthful and socially responsible.