An advertisement for Condé Nast Traveler magazine, which features a skinny model on a beach, has gotten Condé Nast Publications Ltd. into hot water with the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority.
On Wednesday the ASA upheld a single complaint that the in-house promotional ad which appeared in Glamour U.K. on June 22 was irresponsible on the grounds that the model looked “unhealthily thin.” Both Traveler and Glamour are published by Condé Nast.
The ASA commented that the ad was for a travel magazine and that “its focus was not supposed to be on the model or her clothes.” The watchdog said it considered that “the model was the focal point of the image and the angle of the image drew attention to her slimness, particularly her legs, which looked very long and thin.”
Its conclusion was that the ad made the model look unhealthily thin and the image was “irresponsible.”
According to the ruling, Condé Nast Traveler Magazine said the image was chosen as “it evoked a mood of escapism” that would urge the audience to engage with travel photography and view potential places to visit on vacation.
The publication said the image did not show any “protruding bones, and that the model was naturally slim and in proportion.” The travel magazine also stated that the clothing worn on the shoot was not intended to “accentuate or hide the model’s body” and that the image was intended to evoke a holiday mood.
Glamour magazine said that their “internal house advertisements are run in good faith and this particular ad did not represent body image or fashion.” The publication said the model’s stance was used as “part of the scene to represent a person on holiday and that the image was warm and calming in tone.”
The magazine noted that while they have taken the complainant’s comments on board, that does not feel that the body of the model was “very relevant to the ad as a whole.” The publication said that it would “take care when reviewing ad choices in the future.”
The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, and told Condé Nast Publications Ltd. “to ensure that the images in their ads were prepared responsibly.”