A TV ad for the BaByliss Boutique Italian hair dryer showed model Ellie Graham from the waist up sitting in front of a dressing table wearing a sleeveless, low-cut dress. She began by blow-drying her hair. The ad then cut to a shot which showed her hair being blow-dried by a male figure. The ad then cut back to the view that showed her from the waist up.
The complainant objected as they believed the model appeared anorexic and promoted an unhealthy body image.
Clearcast did not believe the model looked underweight and said the focus of the advertisement was on her hair, not her body and the ad did not show full length shots of her. They said the ad was not for a weight loss product and did not promote her thinness; instead the model was used to showcase her beautiful hair and she just happened to be slim.
BaByliss said they were concerned that a member of the public thought the model was anorexic. The advertiser said the ad showed the model picking up the dryer and then showed a series of close up shots to show the product and its benefits. They said they had acted responsibly as great care was taken to select a healthy looking model who was chosen because of her beautiful hair, face and bubbly personality. The advertiser said they had no concerns regarding the model's weight and supplied her age, weight, height and statistics and said her BMI was 18.8 which was a healthy weight. BaByliss said the model was naturally tall and slender with a toned body and has never been anorexic or bulimic.
The ASA noted the ad was for a styling product that focused mainly on the model's hair and included short views of the model's upper body to portray an overall effect. We acknowledged that it was not an ad which featured a product that could modify body size or promoted a desirable body type.
We noted from the shots of her upper body viewers could see that the model had a tall, slender body shape which did not feature symptoms of excessive weight loss. Because the ad did not promote an ideal body image or use an underweight model, we concluded that the ad was not irresponsible.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 1.2 1.2 Advertisements must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the audience and to society. (Social responsibility) 4.1 4.1 Advertisements must contain nothing that could cause physical, mental, moral or social harm to persons under the age of 18. and 4.2 4.2 Advertisements must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards. (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.