London gears up to protest controversial “Beach Body” ads

An ad campaign for Protein World weight loss products in the London Underground stations, showing a bikini-clad model and asking women whether they’re “beach body ready,” has been stirring up a storm of controversy in the U.K. It sparked a movement of people who believe the campaign is offensive and is promoting an unhealthy body image. Thousands have already signed a petition demanding to have the posters removed while others have been sharing pictures making fun of the posters or defacing them and using the #everybodysready hashtag to mock the ads on social media. Taking things even one step further, a groundswell is planning to protest against the ad campaign in a mass demonstration in London’s Hyde Park. The Facebook page for the event reads: “Do you look like the model on the poster? Awesome, step this way, gorgeous! Are you a size 24? Come on down, beautiful!! Are you a guy? Get those swimming shorts out.” The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) said it was carefully assessing the complaints that have been flooding in to determine if any further action is necessary. Protein World, however, is unfazed. The company said it’s not concerned by detractors and won’t be taking down the posters. Using the hashtag #getagrip, company officials tweeted: “here to motivate, not commiserate.” The head of marketing at Protein World said all the ad campaign is meant to do is “encourage a healthier, fitter nation” and “encourage everybody to be the very best version of themselves.” Poor Protein World — it must really hurt to have such good intentions so widely misunderstood.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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