UK bans Yves Saint Laurent ad featuring ‘unhealthily underweight’ model

LONDON — The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an Yves Saint Laurent advert featuring an “unhealthily underweight” model.

The advert featured in Elle UK magazine and provoked a complaint from a reader who said it was “irresponsible” to use an image of someone who looked unhealthily thin.

The ASA concluded that the way the photo was taken drew particular attention to her chest, where her ribs were visible, and her “very thin” legs.

They said:

The ASA considered that the model’s pose and the particular lighting effect in the ad drew particular focus to the model’s chest, where her rib cage was visible and appeared prominent, and to her legs, where her thighs and knees appeared a similar width, and which looked very thin, particularly in light of her positioning and the contrast between the narrowness of her legs and her platform shoes. We therefore considered that the model appeared unhealthily underweight in the image and concluded that the ad was irresponsible.

“The advert must not appear again in its current form,” they said. “We told the advertisers to ensure that the images in their ads were prepared responsibly.”

The news was well received by many Twitter users.

https://twitter.com/SocialMarv/status/606002539570597888

The ASA said Yves Saint Laurent “indicated that they did not agree with the complainant’s view that the model was unhealthily thin” but didn’t offer a more substantial response. Elle UK did not comment to the ASA.

Earlier this year, the fashion brand was cleared by the ASA of allegations that its Black Opium campaign glamourised drug use and addiction.