Protein World launched a controversial campaign earlier in 2015 for a weight loss collection, featuring a very fit, and probably photoshopped, bikini clad woman.
Responses to the advertisement sparked a protest in London’s Hyde Park and a petition on Change.org that received over 70,000 signatures.
So what exactly defines “beach body ready” anyway?
According to an article by Rose Hackman beach body ready should be taken quite literally.. she writes in her article, ” Do you know how to swim? Yes? OK. Do you need sunscreen for your skin tone? Yes? No? OK. How about a bathing suit? Do you have one of those? OK. Prefer to go naked/keep your shorts on? That’s fine too. I now declare your body ready for the beach. You are beach body ready. Off you go, have fun.”
Hackman claims that is where it should end, and many opposers of the advertisement agree.
Today.com interviewed Katya Powder who posted a photograph of the advertisement with a “this oppresses women” sticker on it.
“I just took the subway to Union Square and was assaulted by a skinny woman in a bikini,” Powder told Today.com. “They’ve made that level of skinny look healthy and attainable, but it’s just not that attainable.”
Powders comment is where, I have to begin to agree with the argument against this kind of advertising. It would be one thing for Protein World to sell a collection or products using images of people who use their products therefore making it realistic. But like a lot of advertisements… these images were manipulated past the power of a product using Photoshop to sell consumers an idealization they will never be able to obtain.
The advertisement was not deemed irresponsible by the Advertising Standards Standards Authority, and Protein World’s head of marketing of Marketing, Richard Staveley, definitely had something to say about the decision.
Staveley, told CNBC he was “happy to see that common sense has prevailed…We shall continue our fight against the global obesity epidemic as we strive to make the world leaner, fitter, healthier and stronger,” he added.
While a healthier lifestyle paired with supplements from retailers such as Protein World can definitely aid in the fight against global obesity, I am not so sure that using Photoshopped images in advertising to project unrealistic ideals has the same effect.