It was a rough week in the world of public relations: there were political scandals, branding overhauls, and a whole lot of offensive advertisements (so much #bodyshaming). There isn’t enough popcorn in the world for this, but let’s get started, shall we?
Wonder Woman won’t hit theaters for another few weeks, but the movie is already ruffling feathers. Warner Bros., the studio behind the film, has partnered with ThinkThin, a protein-focused health food company that is now offering a number of Wonder Woman tie-ins when customers spend a certain amount of money on protein bars and smoothies. Some have grumbled that a movie featuring a powerful female lead shouldn’t be promoted alongside a company that urges women to be thin. These complaints are probably unfair (“thin” does not have to be synonymous with “unhealthy”), but at least people have stopped arguing about whether or not Wonder Woman should have armpit hair.
You know who could use a PR master right about now? New Hampshire State Representative Robert Fisher, who has been exposed as the anonymous creator of an infamously misogynistic Reddit community called “The Red Pill.” A Daily Beast investigation revealed that Fisher, posting under the username Pk_atheist, routinely derided women as having “sub-par intelligence.” He even suggested that he had installed video cameras in his bedroom to prevent women from falsely accusing him of rape. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has asked Fisher to step down, calling his actions “horrendous and repulsive.” Not even Olivia Pope could fix this mess.
France has passed two decrees that seek to protect the health of professional models. The first requires models to present a medical certificate that attests to their general health. The second law requires that commercial images be labeled as a retouched photograph, if they have been digitally altered. These measures are by no means perfect. Some argue that they simply subject models to a different type of scrutiny, for one thing. But S. Bryn Austin of Harvard’s Public School of Health said the laws were a good step towards “saying to the fashion and advertising industries that it’s time they acted responsibly toward the people on whom their livelihoods depend.”
An ad for the supplement supplier Protein World — featuring none other than Khloe Kardashian — has drawn body-shaming complaints from riders on the London Underground. The image shows Kardashian in a bathing suit, next to the slogan “Can You Keep Up With a Kardashian?” (They really didn’t try too hard with that one.) Despite complaints that the images were “socially irresponsible” and “promoted an unhealthy and competitive approach to dieting,” the U.K.’s advertising Standards Agency approved the promos for display. And let’s face it: when it comes to unfortunate Kardashian ad kampaigns, Khloe has nothing on Kendall.