Ad description

An ad in Elle magazine, promoting a fashion brand, featured a black and white photograph of a woman lying on the floor with her hands on her head. She had her eyes closed and was wearing a short black dress, a leather jacket and high heels.


The complainant, who believed the featured model appeared unhealthily thin, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible.


Yves Saint Laurent SAS indicated that they did not agree with the complainant's view that the model was unhealthily thin, but did not provide a detailed response.

Elle stated that they had no comment to make on the complaint.



The ASA considered that the model’s pose and the particular lighting effect in the ad drew particular focus to the model’s chest, where her rib cage was visible and appeared prominent, and to her legs, where her thighs and knees appeared a similar width, and which looked very thin, particularly in light of her positioning and the contrast between the narrowness of her legs and her platform shoes. We therefore considered that the model appeared unhealthily underweight in the image and concluded that the ad was irresponsible.

The ad 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 ad must not appear again in its current form. We told the advertisers to ensure that the images in their ads were prepared responsibly.

CAP Code (Edition 12)


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