Protein World, the brand which will be forever associated with the controversial “are you beach body ready?” ad that was ultimately deemed inoffensive, has turned to the SEO agency set up former BBC One Apprentice winner Mark Wright to drive international growth.
London-based Climb Online was founded by Australian Wright in January 2015 with a £250,000 investment from Lord Alan Sugar; he beat off competition from Bianca Miller, whose business idea was to sell a range of tights to match varying skin tones.
The agency offers services in SEO, paid media and social media marketing. It recently landed some business from social media platform TikTok.
Climb Online will launch a paid media campaign for the protein supplement company, which sells a range of diet supplements as well as weight loss products.
Protein World founder and CEO Arjun Seth said: “Protein World is a fast-paced and ambitious lifestyle nutrition brand, with plans to scale accelerated international growth.
“Therefore, in reviewing our digital marketing strategy, we were looking to work with a partner who not only shared our business values, but clearly understood our growth objectives. We believe we have found this in Climb Online and are already seeing both tangible and impressive results.”
Protein World’s 2016 poster campaign, featuring a slim and toned model in a bikini, was one of the most complained about ads of that year, attracting 380 gripes to the Advertising Standards Authority and tens of thousands on Change.org.
Most questioned whether the ad implied a body shape different from the model was not good enough and so was offensive; others believed the combination of the model’s body and the headline was socially irresponsible for an ad for a slimming product.
Following the complaints, the ASA told Protein World that due to concerns about a range of health and weight loss claims, the ad should not appear again in that form. However, in its official ruling, the regulator concluded that the campaign was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
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