Marketing Avon News

Avon pulls anti-cellulite campaign as it's accused of abusing body-positive movement


By Imogen Watson | Senior reporter

January 21, 2019 | 6 min read

Avon has apologised and pulled its marketing materials for an anti-cellulite campaign after actor and activist, Jameela Jamil, took to Twitter to accuse it of abusing the body-positive movement.

Jameela Jamil accuses Avon of abusing the body positive movement

Jameela Jamil accuses Avon of abusing the body positive movement

The campaign appeared in a brochure for Avon's North American customers. The series of ads promoted its 'Smooth Moves Naked Proof' anti-cellulite cream as a tool to combat the condition that causes lumps and bumps over the body's surface.

The beauty brand has been accused of capitalising on people’s insecurities by presenting cellulite as a defect, rather than a normal body feature, which between 80-90% of women will experience in their lifetime.

In one ad, the copy reads 'dimples are cute on your face (not your thighs),' against the backdrop of a giggling, cellulite-free woman. Jamil called Avon up for “shaming women about age, gravity and cellulite. They’re inevitable.”

The tweet was retweeted over 11,000 times.

In a stream of tweets targeting Avon's campaign, Jamil sharing another ad that featured the same clear skinned lady with the message 'every body is beautiful.' She criticised the ad, tweeting “every body is beautiful unless they have any “flaws” I guess." The ads have split opinion on social media, with one side criticising the other for being ‘oversensitive.’

The UK arm of Avon, who Jamil directed her criticism, said it would look into the matter further.

In response, Jamil called upon the UK branch to "publicly denounce this campaign or you will continue to fall under the umbrella of beauty industry companies that break women to sell to them products."

Avon’s official Twitter account for its USA operation responded to Jamil, saying the ad “was intended to be light-hearted and fun but we realise we missed the mark.”

In a public post across its social media channels, Avon apologised and told customers it was removing the campaign.

Jamil has been highly vocal on her opinions towards body positivity and is an outspoken advocate for feminist empowerment. Last month she wrote an op-ed for the BBC which called for Photoshop and airbrushing to be made illegal. In July, she openly criticised Flat Tummy Co, a company Kim Kardashian endorses. The food supplement company erected a large-scale billboard in Times Square, which featured a woman biting on a lollipop with the message: 'Girl, tell them to suck it.'

Jamil was quick to call-out the sexism inherent in the campaign, complaining that the absence of men implied that only women faced social stigma to achieve the perfect physique.

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