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Product: Health and Beauty (Physical Training Club)
Advertiser: Airside Bootcamp
Medium: Social Media (Facebook)
ASAI Code 6th Edition: 1.6(c), 2.7, 2.16
The advertisement featured a group of women taking an exercise class. The women were standing on one leg with their arms raised above their heads. The caption read:
“You don't need to look like you are having an epileptic fit to get in shape”.
The text underneath the picture read:
Complaints were received from consumers and Epilepsy Ireland. Epilepsy Ireland said that they considered the advertisers were likening the involuntary leg and arm movements that were features of a typical tonic-cloning seizure to the movements of a physical workout. They said that the imagery used alongside the wording had caused upset and hurt to people with epilepsy and their families. They also said that people who lived with the difficulties of epilepsy did not deserve to have their disability trivialised in the manner portrayed by the advertisers. They said the advertisement had caused great offence to Epilepsy Ireland and to the people they represented.
All consumer complainants considered the advertising to be offensive in content and to be insensitive to those who lived with epilepsy.
The advertisers failed to respond to the complaint.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaints and expressed their concern at the advertisers’ failure to respond in the matter. They reminded them that there is an onus on advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code.
The Committee noted the offence that had been caused and considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 2.7, 2.16 and 2.18(b) and (c) of the Code.
The advertisement should not be used in its current format again.