Gucci advert banned over 'unhealthily thin' model

By Saskia Hill
11 April 2016

Her tiny frame looks almost unable to support her head -- even the bold, busy geometric pattern of her dress doesn't hide the fact that the model is painfully thin.

So it's little wonder the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in Britain has accused fashion house Gucci of using an "unhealthily thin" model in an advertising campaign.

The photo of the brunette model appears in a video for the campaign, which was launched in December last year, clad in a long-sleeved dress. She leans against a wall with her hips thrust forward, and it looks as though she has dark shadows under her eyes.

“We considered that her torso and arms were quite slender and appeared to be out of proportion to her head and lower body,” ASA said in a statement.

The organisation said the model posed in such a way that her waist looked longer and a lot slimmer. It mentioned her sombre expression and dark eye make-up that made her look emaciated.

But Gucci hit back by saying their ruling was was subjective, adding that the models had "slim builds" but were not depicted as “unhealthily thin”.

To further their defence, Gucci said that nowhere in the video is a model whose bones (such as collar bones or ribs) are sticking out. It insisted the make-up was natural and not dark, the lighting was warm to ensure there were no hollows that could have been caused by shadows and that the models’ clothing hadn’t exposed too much. The parts that were exposed were shapely and acceptably slim.

The models were supposed to represent a dance party and were aimed at an older, sophisticated audience.

The insert featuring the model leaning against the wall has since been edited out of the official video.

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