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Gucci ad banned for using 'unhealthily thin' model

A still from the video ad that was banned
A still from the video ad that was banned

A Gucci advert has been banned for using a model that appeared "unhealthily thin".

The Internet advert, which was promoting the Italian fashion house's Cruise 2016 line, has been taken to task by the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for pushing an "irresponsible body image".

A reader challenged whether the ad was responsible after it appeared on Britain's The Times newspaper website in December last year (15). The video featured several models dancing to a soundtrack, with the final part showing several still photos of individual models, one woman wearing a high necked jacket and skirt, and one wearing a long dress leaning against a wall.

In a ruling published on Wednesday (06Apr16), the ASA said while it was satisfied one model appeared slim but not unhealthy, the woman shown leaning against a wall appeared too thin.

The ASA upheld the motion on the grounds that the model in the latter image was "irresponsible" and made the woman featured appear "gaunt". It also noted that "her torso and arms were quite slender and appeared to be out of proportion with her head and lower body."

"For those reasons, we considered that the model leaning against the wall appeared to be unhealthily thin in the image, and therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible," the regulator said in a statement.

Gucci's stated the ads were part of a video that portrayed a dance party and were aimed at a sophisticated audience. It said The Times' audience comprised of an "adult and mature" readership and that the issue of whether or not the woman was too thin was a "subjective" matter.

However, the ad must now not appear again in its current form, with the ASA telling Gucci to "ensure that the images in its ads were prepared responsibly" in future.

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