NEW YORK — A controversial ad campaign that was banned in Britain is being rolled out across New York. It’s for a weight loss supplement made by Protein World.
It asks the the question, “Are you beach body ready?”
A huge billboard is plastered in always-bustling Times Square. The star of the ad, model Renee Somerfield, celebrated the billboard’s arrival during the weekend by tweeting “What’s up New York?”
Reaction from those seeing the billboard for the first time was mixed.
Another passerby said, “It’s saying, ‘oh look like this, this is what the world wants you to look like,’ but you just need to make yourself happy.”
“You don’t have to take it, they’re not saying take this or else,” another person said.
The tag line “Are you beach body ready” being used to sell a diet supplement had people in Britain up in arms. More than 70,000 people there signed an online petition to have the ads pulled.
Britain’s advertising standards authority eventually did ban them in their current form at the end of April due to “concerns about a range of health and weight loss claims.”
The agency is still investigating whether they are socially irresponsible.
The company remained defiant on Twitter, telling one critic to stop “#Fitshaming” and another to “grow up.”
Times Square is just the beginning for the ad campaign in New York. The company is about to launch more ads on New York’s subway network later this month. As far as Protein World is concerned, the controversy is good exposure for them.