The advertising industry has hit back at the Government over
criticism of ads that feature models who are too thin.
The Advertising Association has criticised ministers for focusing on
advertising after the Government announced plans for a summit with
leading figures in the fashion, modelling and media worlds on 21 June to
discuss the link between ’body image’ and eating disorders.
Ministers believe that the ubiquitous images in the media of waif-like
figures such as Victoria Beckham, Jodie Kidd and Kate Moss encourages
under-eating among young girls.
’We hope the Government will maintain a sense of perspective in relation
to the role advertising plays in what is a much wider and more
complicated social issue,’ Sara Price, the AA’s head of public affairs,
AA leaders believe advertising is only ’a small tip of a very large
iceberg’ and that the Government’s fire should be directed at the media
and fashion industries.
’Advertising follows society’s trends rather than setting them,’ a
source said. ’Advertising is an easy target but the Government should
look at the whole picture.’
Advertising agencies last came under fire over this issue when an
Accurist campaign by TBWA GGT Simons Palmer showed an emaciated woman
wearing a watch on her upper arm.
Tessa Jowell, the minister for women, said the Government’s research
among young women showed they felt under too much pressure to be
’Young women are tired of feeling second rate because they can’t match
the ideal that they so often see in the media,’ Jowell said.
’For many, poor body image can lead to low levels of self-esteem. For
some, it is far more dangerous, leading to eating disorders and other
forms of self-abuse.’
Young women will attend the summit at 11 Downing Street, as will
representatives of the Storm model agency, Rebecca Martin, editor of the
teen magazine Jump, and Susie Orbach, an expert on eating disorders.