A magazine ad for Condé Nast Traveller Magazine seen in Glamour Magazine on 22 June 2017 featured a model posed on a beach.
The complainant believed the model looked unhealthily thin and challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible.
Condé Nast Traveller Magazine said that their ‘postcard of the day’ feature was a tool used to engage with current readers and newcomers to their website. They said that their readers and online audience were split at almost 50% male and 50% female at an average age of 38. The ad was used to entice readers to go online and interact with beautiful travel photography, interesting places to visit and new places to stay.
The image in the ad was a still taken during a fashion shoot for a feature aimed at an older audience of Traveller readers. They said that particular image, which was not used in the original magazine feature, was chosen for this ad as it evoked a mood of escapism, with the model shown stretching towards the sun. The model was very tall and slim but was not posed for the shot as it was caught in a moment between other shots. They acknowledged that the model’s stance accentuated her height and slender legs but said that there were no protruding bones and that the model was naturally slim and in proportion. Additionally, they said that the clothes in the shoot were not worn to accentuate or hide the model’s body and that the image reflected a joyful holiday moment which celebrated being on the beach, by the sea and in the sunshine.
Glamour Magazine said internal house advertisements are run in good faith and this particular ad did not represent body image or fashion. Further, they said that the model’s silhouette was used as part of the scene to represent a person on holiday and that the image was warm and calming in tone. They did not believe the shape of the model was very relevant to the ad as a whole. They said that they took the comments made by the complainant on board and would take care when reviewing ad choices in the future.
The ASA considered that while the model appeared to be in proportion, the angle of the image drew attention to her slimness, particularly her legs which looked very long and thin. We also noted that she was part way through twisting and that the outline of her body could be seen through her top, emphasising the narrowness of her waist. We acknowledged that the ad was for a travel magazine and that its focus was not supposed to be on the model or her clothes; however, we considered that the model was the focal point of the image, therefore we concluded that the ad made the model look unhealthily thin and that the ad was irresponsible.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 1.3 Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society. (Responsible advertising).
The ad must not appear in its current form. We told Condé Nast Publications Ltd to ensure that in the future their ads were prepared responsibly.