Gucci advert featuring an “unhealthily thin” model was irresponsible, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.
The ad on The Times website – which appeared in December 2015 – included stills at the end of a video of two models – one sitting on a sofa, and another leaning against a wall wearing a long, printed dress.
The regulator found the model standing up appeared “unhealthily thin” and “gaunt”, and that the advert breached the rules on responsible advertising as set out in the code.
One complainant, who believed the featured models appeared unhealthily thin, had challenged whether the ad was irresponsible.
The ASA upheld their complaint saying: “We considered that her torso and arms were quite slender and appeared to be out of proportion with her head and lower body. Further, her pose elongated her torso and accentuated her waist so that it appeared to be very small.
“We also considered that her sombre facial expression and dark make up, particularly around her eyes, made her face look gaunt.
“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 Italian fashion house told the ASA that the ads were part of a video portraying a dance party and were aimed at an older, sophisticated audience, in keeping with The Times’ readership.
It added that it did not feel the model appeared unhealthily thin but “toned and slim”, because “nowhere in the ads were any models’ ‘bones’ visible, their make up was natural rather than heavy … lighting was uniform and warm to ensure there were no hollows caused by shadows and their clothes were not revealing”.
The ad must not appear again in its current form, the fashion brand was told.
Gucci UK could not be reached for comment.