Three TV ads for an online retailer for womenswear, Nasty Girl, seen in June 2018:
a. The first ad featured a model posing in various outfits including swimwear, a dress and a tank top with a skirt. The model was also shown playing tennis and golf.
b. The second ad featured the same scenes shown in ad (a), with large on-screen text regarding next day delivery.
c. The third ad was an abridged version of ads (b) and (c) with large on-screen text regarding next day delivery.
22 complainants who believed the model looked unhealthily thin challenged whether the ads were socially irresponsible.
Nasty Gal Ltd stated that the model featured in the ad was a UK size eight and that her body mass index (BMI) was within the healthy range for an adult woman.
Clearcast stated that the model weighed 134lbs and was 178cm tall with a BMI of 18.8, which sat well within the healthy weight and BMI range in accordance with NHS guidelines. They said that some viewers may subjectively view the model to be too slender, whilst others would recognise her to be of a healthy appearance, which was supported by the NHS guidelines.
The ASA considered that while the female model in the ads generally appeared to be in proportion, there were specific scenes, which because of her poses, drew attention to her slimness. For instance, the ads showed the model lying on a sun lounger stretching her arms, which emphasised their slimness and length. Furthermore, towards the end of the ads were scenes showing the model spraying mist on herself, which placed focus on her chest where her rib cage was visible and appeared prominent.
We considered that the model appeared unhealthily underweight in those scenes and concluded that the ads were therefore irresponsible.
The ad breached BCAP Code rule 1.2 1.2 Advertisements must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the audience and to society. (Social responsibility).
The ads must not be broadcast again in their current form. We told Nasty Gal Ltd to ensure that the content in their ads were prepared responsibly.