News

Khloe Kardashian Protein World ad faces backlash for 'body-shaming' young women

Khloe Kardashian Protein World ad faces backlash for 'bodyshaming' young women

Protein World has sparked fresh controversy thanks to a poster on the London Underground featuring its new brand ambassador Khloe Kardashian, which has been accused of promoting a negative body image to young women.

The ad shows the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star in a leotard promoting a 30-day weightloss plan from the company. The tagline reads: 'Can You Keep Up With A Kardashian?'

The billboards, which are currently in situ around the capital, have provoked a backlash online from campaigners and commuters complaining to both London mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL).

This isn't the first time creative from the lifestyle brand has caused a stir. Back in 2015 the firm's infamous 'Are You Beach Body Ready' posters were vandalised by protesters and clocked up 360 Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) complaints.

A year on, Khan announced he was moving to ban ads that promoted an "unhealthy" or "unrealistic" body image from appearing on London's tube and bus network.

"As the father of two teenage girls, I am extremely concerned about this kind of advertising which can demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies," he said at the time.

TfL told the Evening Standard that the ad wasn't covered by Khan's policy, which doesn't prohibit the use of all images of people in underwear or swimwear.

The controversy comes as the ASA continues its investigation into gender stereotyping by brands, which could soon change the way the watchdog regulates campaigns that appear to objectify or sexualise women.

Get the Newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest news and insights.

Subscribe

Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum with a remit to cover the latest developments in social media marketing and wider industry news. Based in Glasgow, she has interviewed key figures from brands like Airbnb, Amnesty International, Facebook and Spotify. She has covered international events in Berlin and Amsterdam, as well as Advertising Week Europe.

All by Rebecca