AA hits out over Govt’s focus on anorexic ads

The advertising industry has hit back at the Government over criticism of ads that feature models who are too thin.

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,

said.



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

thin.



’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.