Advert showing ‘unhealthily thin’ model cleared by watchdog after compliant

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A Selfridges fashion ad has been cleared by the advertising watchdog following a complaint that the model looked “unhealthily thin”.

An email from the department store in January showed a model standing side on in a long blue dress.

A reader complained that the model looked “unhealthily thin” and challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible.

Selfridges said the woman was not positioned in a way intended to exaggerate her slimness, adding that the loose fit of the dress would distort the actual size of any model regardless of their size.

The store said that while they accepted the model was thin, the general public’s perception of weight and whether or not an individual looked unhealthily thin was a subjective matter.

The Advertising Standards Authority accepted that the image emphasised the model’s slenderness through her pose and the style of clothing, but said she appeared to be in proportion.

The ASA said: “We considered most people, including young children and women, would interpret the ad as focusing on the design and fit of the dress, rather than on desirable body image.

“We considered that, although the model was slim, she did not appear to be unhealthily thin or significantly underweight and therefore concluded that the ad was not irresponsible.”

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