Lush , known for their freshly made handmade cosmetics has come under flak for their ad campaign featuring plus-sized models who are also real life staff at Lush, in their body positive venture, owing to nudity. Official complaints poured in to the Australian A dvertising Standards Board(ABS), hailing the advertisements as pornographic and offensive.
The ‘Go Naked’ advertisement campaign has a twofold agenda. Along with Lush’s minimal packaging strategy, what this campaign further sought to do was ” to send a body positive message to our customers, using some of our own staff, showcasing real, beautiful, un-photoshopped, unaltered women.”
When the latest campaign for Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics ‘Go Naked’ was launched in August this year, it was greeted with a lot of appreciation and was commended for the body-positive approach of the advertisements.
The fact that these ads were placed at malls, in full view of shoppers spanning all ages, the sensibilities of some were hurt. One of the complaints read: “It is pornographic in nature and breaches community and parental standards of what should be involuntarily viewed in public by children and adults. It was placed at a child’s eye level in a shopping centre. It shows naked women touching other naked women and it is shown in a public place. I am offended as this is nudity for the sake of causing a stir and is offensive [sic] and unnecessary”.
The ABS upheld the complaints, saying: “The Board considered that the advertisement does not treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant broad audience which would include children and determined that the advertisement did breach Section 2.4 of the Code.”
The advertisements featuring photographs of Lush employees, were deemed to be “inappropriate for the family environment of the shopping centre”. Most of the complaints stemmed from concerns about the effect of the images on children.
After the ads were removed from their Queensland store, a Lush spokesperson defended the campaign, saying: “Some of our customers told us that after years of struggling with their own bodies, they were inspired to begin the healing process and challenge the negative self talk they hear each time they see an image of a Photoshopped, idealised version of beauty they may not meet.”
The objective of the campaign was to empower people and Lush further defended it’s campaign saying, “The photos are shot not to titillate, but with the utmost respect for these wonderful human beings and their commitment to this cause”.