Saturday 17 March 2018

Body positive ad campaign reported as 'offensive' and 'pornographic'

Lush removed the advert five days early following four complaints from shoppers

Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

A 'body-positive' campaign for Lush cosmetics featuring plus-size models has been ruled "offensive" and "pornographic" by the Australian advertising standards board(ABS).

The board received four complaints about the ad, with one complaining the ad contained "nudity for the sake of causing a stir".

The board upheld the complaints. One complaint, coming from a Queensland mall, pointed out that the sign was "at a child's eye level" and "completely inappropriate for the family environment of the shopping centre". 

"It is pornographic in nature and breaches community and parental standards of what should be involuntarily viewed in public by children and adults".

"It shows naked women touching other naked women and it is shown in a public place... I am offended as this is nudity for the sake of causing a stir and is offensive [sic] and unnecessary".

"I was unable to shield my children from exposure to this advert...  When I contacted Lush they said that the women in the photo consented so it was OK - I’m sorry but I never consented for myself or my children to be exposed to nudity on our weekly shopping trip!"

The ABS took into account previously banned advertisement for Tom Ford, which featured a naked Cara Delevingne in a bath. 

The 'Go Naked' campaign was launched in August to widespread acclaim. Lush was applauded on their social media by women around the world, with one writing "Amen to this ad! True beauty and acceptance!"

Lush removed the images from their Queensland store five days early, a move which they say drew it's own complaints.

Writing to Buzzfeed News, Lush said that the campaign "is not in any way intended to cause any offense or upset".

"We have had requests from customers wanting to continue the campaign in store and pose for the photo themselves as they felt it helped their children grow up feeling that their bodies are natural and normal, not something to be ashamed of and have our insecurities exploited for the sale of cosmetics".

The campaign's main message is to highlight the use of excessive packaging in the beauty industry.

"The women in the images are members of the LUSH team, who felt strongly about this issue and volunteered to be part of our campaign to highlight this important issue".

"The photos are shot not to titillate, but with the utmost respect for these wonderful human beings and their commitment to this cause".

The photos of real-life staff of the company were left totally untouched by Photoshop.

"We want our messages to empower people, not make them feel awful about themselves over a body that is probably not ever real due to how much it’s been digitally ‘enhanced’".

Courtney Fry, an employee of Lush, told Buzzfeed that being featured in the campaign was "truly liberating".

"The absolute best reaction was an older woman who was giggling with her friend at the window display, and then smacked me on the bum and told me I was doing a ‘bloody good job, love".

"There are always going to be people that don’t agree with us, and that’s OK", she added. "The only thing we can hope to do is give them some information and education and something that might challenge their thinking".


Online Editors

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