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Tipsheet

People in London "Offended" Over Tube Ad Featuring Woman in Bikini

London is in an uproar over an ad for Protein World's new weight loss collection that features a slim woman wearing a yellow bikini. Protests have been planned for next Saturday, on the grounds that the ad somehow is sexist and promotes an unhealthy body image. Further, people are also claiming that the ad perpetuates the notion that only thin people can wear bikinis.

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From The Guardian:

Thousands of people have signed an online petition for the posters, for Protein World weight-loss products, to be removed from London Underground stations. Others have organised a “taking back the beach” protest, set for London’s Hyde Park on Saturday.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received 216 complaints with the general nature being that the ad is “offensive, irresponsible and harmful because it promotes an unhealthy body image”. The ASA said it was carefully assessing the complaints to establish if there are ground for further action.

More than 44,000 people had signed the petition at change.org by lunchtime on Monday. Others angered by the ad have shared pictures, using the hashtag #everybodysready, of defaced posters.

The petition claims that Protein World is deliberately targeting people to "make them feel inferior" to the model in the ad who has an "unrealistic" body.

Despite all of this "controversy" over the ad, Protein World has been raking it in:

I guess it's nice knowing that other countries are susceptible to the recent outbreak of "I'm-offended-so-you-need-to-stop" syndrome. There is nothing wrong with that ad. The model does not appear to be underweight (or even overly-photoshopped), and I'm failing to understand how her body is "unrealistic." In the U.K., nearly two thirds of adults are classified as either being overweight or obese. One would think/hope that this would be a much more pressing concern than a supplement company trying to sell a product, but nope. The feminists are angry. We all must protest because someone attractive is being used, presumably with her consent, to sell a product.

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There's nothing wrong with a person trying to look their best while wearing an article of clothing that's generally very unforgiving. There's also nothing wrong with the opposite approach to swimwear. However, shaming either of these groups is not acceptable.

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