ASA gives ‘tiny little waist’ ad a big thumbs-down

velform 2A teleshopping ad for a garment which enables women to squeeze their waists to the size of a small child’s has been chided by the ad watchdog for implying that it is a look women should be aiming for.
The Velform Mini Waist – a velcro-based contraption which the ad claimed would give women the “red-carpet look – appeared on The Shop Channel UK, and made references to celebrities and girls in magazines while showing images of women in before and after shots.
Funnily enough, in the “after” shots the women were looking much happier.
The presenter said: “Have you ever wondered how celebrities get those tiny little waists they flaunt on the red carpet?” and went on to state: “Women are supposed to look like this, and men like this.”
One viewer, who complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, believed the commercial promoted unhealthy body perceptions.
However, Clearcast – the body which vets ads before they are aired on TV – dismissed the suggestion, insisting the ad did not encourage an unhealthy body perception and that viewers were not being urged to use it instead of exercise or dieting.
Shop Channel UK owner Chromotion was also bemused; it maintained that the product Velform Mini Waist was only a temporary way for consumers to achieve a slimming effect when wearing it, and that the ad did not specify any specific levels of tightness to use the product.
However, the ASA was having none of it. Banning the ad from appearing again, it ruling stated: “Although the statements were made in the context of an ad for a waist compression garment, we considered it was irresponsible to imply that a very small waist should be aspired to and that all women should aim for that figure.
“We considered that in the context of advertising the product it was reasonable to show it being used. However, we were concerned that in some shots the women were shown compressing their waists to appear extremely small and that, particularly in the context of the aforementioned claims, this added to the impression that women should aspire to very small waists.”

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