Two paid-for Facebook posts by the clothing retailer Motel Rocks:
a. The first post, seen on 9 April 2021, featured a female model wearing a pink dress getting out of a car. The post included the caption “Shop our ‘Rose Flock Pale Pink’ print on site now”.
b. The second post, seen in May 2021, featured a model wearing a halter neck dress. The post included the caption “Shop our weekly drops of the hottest Spring pieces on site now”.
IssueFive complainants, who believed the models appeared to be unhealthily thin in ads (a) and (b), challenged whether the ads were irresponsible.
ResponseRustin and Mallory Wholesale Ltd t/a Motel Rocks said they had taken action to remove the images.
Both ads showed a still image, which when clicked played a video. The ASA understood the complainants had raised concerns about the way the models appeared in the still images and we therefore assessed those images only.
We considered that the model’s legs in ad (a) looked very thin, with her thighs appearing to be the same width as her lower leg, and out of proportion with the rest of her body. That impression was exaggerated by the ad’s lighting, the angle of the image and the position of the model getting out of the car. We concluded that ad (a) made the model look unhealthily thin and that the ad was therefore irresponsible.We considered the cut of the neckline of the dress in ad (b) placed emphasis on the model’s left arm and shoulders. We considered the position of the model’s arm made her arm and shoulders appear very thin, with the model’s bones in those areas appearing prominently. We also considered the angle of the model’s left arm made her upper arm appear noticeable thinner than her elbow joint. Therefore, we also concluded that ad (b) made the model look unhealthily thin and that the ad was irresponsible.
The ads 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 ads must not appear again in their current form.