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U.K. watchdog says “Beach Body Ready” ad is legal

The now infamous weight loss ad campaign by Protein World, which features a bikini-clad model and asks if viewers of it were “beach body ready” and sparked a huge backlash over alleged “body-shaming,” was deemed “not irresponsible” by the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ad inspired a protest in London’s Hyde Park and a petition on Change.org which attracted more than 70,000 signatures by people who thought it objectified women and was socially irresponsible. While the ASA received more than 400 official complaints about the ad, they concluded that it did not break any U.K. rules relating to harm and offense or responsible advertising. They sided with the argument of Protein World, which said the ad invited viewers to consider if they were in the shape they wanted to be, and its ad did not imply that everyone should look like the model. In its judgement, the ASA wrote, “We considered the claim ‘Are you beach body ready?’ prompted readers to think about whether they were in the shape they wanted to be for the summer and we did not consider the accompanying image implied a different body shape to that shown was not good enough or was inferior. The same ad campaign made it to New York recently, where it was met with mixed reactions and defaced with “this oppresses women” stickers on the subway.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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