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Advertising Standards Authority bans Nasty Gal ads

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Online womenswear brand Nasty Gal has had three of its adverts, which aired over the summer, banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after 22 complainants believed the model looked “unhealthily thin” and claimed the ads were “socially irresponsible”.

The advertising watchdog agreed and stated that the model appeared “unhealthily underweight” and that there were specific scenes in the ads where the model drew attention to her slimness with her poses, such as lying on a sun lounger stretching her arms, which the ASA said in its ruling “emphasised their slimness and length”.

The ASA stated: “We considered that the model appeared unhealthily underweight in those scenes and concluded that the ads were therefore irresponsible.”

The three adverts all following the same model and narrative ran in June 2018, and showed the model posing in various outfits including swimwear, a dress and a tank top with a skirt, while playing tennis and golf.

Nasty Gal responded to the watchdog stating that the model featured in the advert was a UK size eight and that her body mass index was within the healthy range for an adult woman, in accordance with NHS guidelines ,and added that “some viewers may subjectively view the model to be too slender, whilst others would recognise her to be of a healthy appearance”.

However, ASA upheld the complaint and has ruled that the adverts did breach BCAP Code Rule on social responsibility and therefore can’t be broadcast again in their current form, and added that Nasty Gal needs to ensure that the content in its ads are “prepared responsibly”.

Advertising Standards Authority
Nasty Gal