TV programme challenges fashion brands to use ‘real women’ in ads

Hosiery brand Pretty Polly and cosmetics range Avon are among the companies to be featured in a television series fronted by Coleen McLoughlin.

The ITV2 series, Coleen’s Real Women sees McLoughlin challenge high-profile fashion and beauty brands to reconsider who fronts their advertising campaigns.

She goes on a “mission” to find “real women” for modeling assignments; only amateurs are allowed to take part. McLoughlin aims to persuade marketing teams to use them instead of models and celebrities. The programme has been created by Endemol-owned Initial, which makes advertiser-funded branded content programming as well as entertainment shows.

The series starts on January 31, with leg-wear specialists Pretty Polly featured, and ends on March 20, with Schwarzkopf hair care brand Supersoft Smoothies. McLoughlin has to find women to represent five different variants. Supersoft Smoothies launched in 2007 with a campaign starring Spice Girl Emma Bunton.

Other brands taking part in the series include women’s exercise wear label Sweaty Betty; lingerie brand Ultimo, whose current celebrity face is Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding; New Woman magazine; Fake Bake, which dropped Sophie Anderton from its advertising in November following a drugs exposé; and Pacha.

McLoughlin is the face of Asda’s George clothes range and has deals with Diet Coke, Nike and LG Phones. She is said to have earned £3m for her perfume Coleen X, which launched last year and was a best seller over the Christmas period. Her only previous presenting experience was in 2006 when she hosted a special edition of Tonight with Trevor McDonald on the genetic condition Rett syndrome.

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