The ASA had received 216 complaints about the ad from the fitness and sports nutrition brand, which showcases a woman in a bikini alongside the words “Are You Beach Body Ready?”, as of this morning (27 April). A separate Change.org petition calling for the ad to be removed has received over 40,000 signatures.
An ASA spokesperson told Marketing Week: “The complaints generally found that the ad is offensive, irresponsible and harmful because it promotes an unhealthy body image.”
They added: “We haven’t launched an investigation, but we are carefully assessing the complaints to see if they are grounds for further action.”
Negative reactions to the campaign have been numerous, with commuters defacing many of the ads and taking to social media with the hash tag #EachBodysReady to express their anger.
In response to negative tweets about the campaign, Protein World CEO Arjun Seth wrote that “sales have tripled and the PR department just got their bonus”, while the brand has defiantly re-tweeted numerous offensive tweets about its body image.
Seth told Channel 4 that the adverts are “aspirational” and that he would only take notice if the petition were to reach 1,000,000 signatures.
He added that the people destroying the brand’s ads are “terrorists” performing criminal actions, while Protein World tweeted: “This is not feminism, it is extremism.”