Simply Be Respond to Controversial Ad with #SimplyBekini Backlash

This weekend saw fashion brand Simply Be launch its response to the controversial weight loss advertising campaign from Protein World. A number of other brands, including Carlsberg and Dove, have lead a backlash against the sports and fitness nutritionist by launching their own take on what constitutes a “beach-ready body”.

The adverts featuring size 14 model Jocelyn Corona celebrate the message ‘Every Body is Beach Body Ready’ in direct response to the Protein World version featuring a super-slim model asking onlookers ‘Are You Beach Body Ready?”

The ads, created by McCann Manchester, appeared at Knightsbridge station and on a roaming London ad van on Saturday 2nd May as thousands of people gathered in Hyde Park for the ‘Taking Back the Beach’ protest against Protein World’s campaign.

Ed Watson, Creative Director at Simply Be, commented:

“The Protein World campaign appeared just after our own ‘beach-body’ messaging launched – but with a very different philosophy!  While the #SimplyBeKini campaign advocates merely putting your bikini on to get beach ready, the Protein World message challenged women to shed the pounds.

“Because it so literally flew in the face of our ethos of self-acceptance, we wanted to get our message out further, hence taking ad space in one of London’s busiest tube stations.”

“We have a responsibility as retailer to be representative in our advertising and that means using an array of body ideals that are achievable. While the Protein World model, Renee, is undeniably beautiful and I’m sure very healthy, it is irresponsible to project something that is largely unachievable as the ideal.”

Jocelyn Corona, the model featured across the Simply Be ads, said:

“Every woman has the right to feel comfortable in their own skin. I love being able to show off my curves so it’s great to see brands like Simply Be representing real women in the UK.”

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned the Protein World ad and launched a social responsibility investigation as a direct result after 50,000 people signed a change.org petition to have the posters removed.

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