Ad description

An email from Selfridges, seen in January 2017, showed a model standing side on in a long blue dress.


The complainant, who believed the model looked unhealthily thin, challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible.


Selfridges Retail Ltd t/a Selfridges said the image did not seek to specifically draw attention to the model’s frame and that the model had adopted a neutral pose and was not positioned in a way intended to exaggerate her slimness. They said the loose fit of the dress would distort the actual size of any model regardless of their size. They further said that while they accepted the model was thin, the general public’s perception of weight and whether or not an individual looked “unhealthily” thin was a subjective matter.


Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that while the image did emphasise the model’s slenderness through pose and the style of clothing, she appeared to be in proportion. We considered most people, including young children and women, would interpret the ad as focusing on the design and fit of the dress, rather than on desirable body image. We considered that, although the model was slim, she did not appear to be unhealthily thin or significantly underweight and therefore concluded that the ad was not irresponsible.

We investigated the ad under 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), but did not find it in breach.


No further action necessary.

CAP Code (Edition 12)


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