Ad description

A website,, for the online fashion retailer Motel Rocks seen on 19 January 2018, featured five images (ads (a) to (e)) of two women modelling their clothing.


The complainant, who believed that the photographs depicted unhealthily thin models, challenged whether the ads were irresponsible.


Rustin & Mallory Wholesale Ltd trading as Motel Rocks offered to remove the images and reshoot.


Upheld in relation to ads (a), (b), (c) and (e)

The ASA welcomed Motel Rocks' proposal to remove the images and reshoot.

We considered that the models in each of the ads were very slim and that their collarbones in ads (a), (b), (c) and (e) were highly visible.

We noted that the target market was young people. We considered that using models that adopted positions in which their collarbones were emphasised, that wore make up and that posed in ways that made their bodies appear thinner were likely to create the impression that the images were something to aspire to upon the target audience.

We considered that visible hollows were caused by the cooler lighting, particularly around the collarbones of the models in ads (a), (c) and (e), and both the collarbone and, to a lesser extent, the ribcage of the model in ad (b).

We therefore concluded that ads (a), (b), (c) and (e) were irresponsible.

We considered that the spine of the model in ad (d) was visible and that her shoulder blades were also noticeable. Although the cooler lighting used was similar to that of the other ads, we did not consider that there were any prominent, visible hollows caused by shadows, and therefore the position the model adopted did not cause any particular body parts to be accentuated to the extent of the other ads. We therefore concluded that this ad was not irresponsible.

Ads (a), (b), (c) and (e) 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). We also investigated ad (d) under that rule, but did not find it in breach.


Ads (a), (b), (c) and (e) must not appear again in their current form.

CAP Code (Edition 12)


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