The ad in The Times newspaper featured model Kasia Struss sitting on a chair in front of a mirror holding a handbag and wearing a low cut, sleeveless dress.
Complainants said that the ad was irresponsible because the model was “significantly underweight”. The use of “size zero” models in fashion shows and in marketing has been the focus of fierce debate for some years.
Prada Retail says that it endeavours “to employ healthy models” and it does not condone the use of models underweight. Struss has worked for a variety of fashion houses for about five years and it was clear from her portfolio she is naturally tall and slim.
The company pointed out that she has featured in a Journal Portrait for the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which has a scheme to promote healthy models. It added that the lighting in its “high fashion” campaign highlighted Struss’ features and pale skin but an image of her back and frame showed that she was not underweight.
The Advertising Standards Authority noted that the lighting and make up emphasised the model’s body shape but that she was healthy and the ad was typical for fashion products.