An advert that appeared in Glamour magazine has been banned due its “irresponsible” inclusion of a model who some claimed “looked unhealthily thin”.
The image, which was used to advertise Condé Nast Traveller Magazine, was seen in Glamour back in June.
The ad featured a model posed on a beach, but the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said the angle of the photo “drew attention to her slimness”.
ASA banned the advert for appearing again “in its current form” and called on the publishers to “ensure that in the future their ads were prepared responsibly”.
In response, Glamour, which is part of the Condé Nast publishing house, said it took the complaint on board and would “take care when reviewing ad choices in the future.”
The advert came to the ASA’s attention after a Glamour reader issued a formal complaint.
“The complainant believed the model looked unhealthily thin and challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible,” the ASA website says.
In response, Condé Nast Traveller Magazine said the image, which was part of their regular ‘postcard of the day’ feature, “was used to entice readers to go online and interact with beautiful travel photography, interesting places to visit and new places to stay”.
The mag pointed out that the ad was aimed at “an older audience of Traveller readers”. Although they acknowledged that the angle of the image accentuated her height and slender legs, they did maintain that the model was “naturally slim and in proportion”.
Glamour magazine added that “internal house advertisements are run in good faith”.
A spokesperson pointed out that the ad was about travel, not fashion or body image, so the emphasis was not on the model or her clothes.
“They said that the model’s silhouette was used as part of the scene to represent a person on holiday and that the image was warm and calming in tone,” the ASA website says.
“They did not believe the shape of the model was very relevant to the ad as a whole. They said that they took the comments made by the complainant on board and would take care when reviewing ad choices in the future.”
However, the ASA still banned the ad. The watchdog considered that while the model appeared to be in proportion, “the angle of the image drew attention to her slimness, particularly her legs which looked very long and thin”.
“We also noted that she was part way through twisting and that the outline of her body could be seen through her top, emphasising the narrowness of her waist,” the ASA ruled.
“We acknowledged that the ad was for a travel magazine and that its focus was not supposed to be on the model or her clothes; however, we considered that the model was the focal point of the image, therefore we concluded that the ad made the model look unhealthily thin and that the ad was irresponsible.”