Provocative 'Beach Body' ads spark outrage (again) but this time it’s in New York

Protein World's controversial “Are You Beach Body Ready’ ads are sparking similar levels of outrage from New Yorkers to those in the UK who believe the campaign objectifies women.

The provocative posters for slimming products are in subway stations across the city as well as a large billboard near Times Square. It shows an image of a bikini clad model appearing next to the words “Are You Beach Body Ready”, similar to its UK counterpart.

Protesters have slammed the campaign for objectifying women and are covering the “beach body” with stickers of the US women’s football team kit. BBH creatives Lannie Hartley and Alia Roberts are leading the backlash and have also set up the site WorldCupReady.

“We did not like the message these ads were giving women. It’s crass and in your face and at the end of the day, is body shaming.” Harley told the Telegraph.

Additionally, the protests are backed by feminist groups Redstockings and National Women’s Liberation, which are both sharing stickers that read “This Oppresses Women” and are placing them over the ads.

Adrielle Munger, an activist with Redstockings, told Today.com: These advertisements are not just offending or insulting us but oppressing us by creating a hugely pervasive climate of sexualising women – especially in New York City where the ads are as loud as the male street harassers.

“Their ads are just another addition to the barrage of oppressive media and advertisements that create a climate of harassment towards women and our bodies.”

Despite the level of anger the ads have incited, the UK advertising watchdog ruled that they are not offensive. It concluded that the campaign, which received nearly 400 complaints, is not socially irresponsible and would not be banned.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.