A television advertisement for LipoExit from Pharmanord features three women, two holding dresses on hangers while the third is sitting on a couch. The two women with the dresses were shown looking at the woman sitting on the couch and laughing to themselves. They then approach the woman, giving her one of the dresses. She holds up the dress and looks upset at the thought of trying it on. The woman is then shown struggling to get the dress on as it obviously does not fit her. This woman is then shown from the chest down and a computer simulation is then shown slimming down her body. A slimmer woman is then shown wearing the dress, however, her head is not shown. She is then shown approaching her friends in a café who are impressed with her appearance.
The voice over states:
“Even an afternoon with your closest friends can make you feel uncomfortable about your weight. But now there’s a solution. The new all natural LipoExit Pharmanord acts with your body helping your lose weight and regain your slim figure. Get back your confidence and enjoy yourself. New LipoExit, developed by researchers for efficient weight loss. Available at pharmacies and health food stores near you.”
On screen text during the advertisement stated:
“Results are achieved over time in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise. Individual results may vary. Consult your pharmacist for details.”
“Artichoke supports weight loss”
The complainant considered that the overweight woman was being bullied by her friends as they appeared to be laughing at her when she was overweight, yet accepted her once she was slimmer.
The advertisers’ stated that they regretted that one complainant had been offended by their advertising. They stated that the advertisement showed a lady who could not wear the same clothing as her friends and that this situation had made her feel uncomfortable, hence her slightly unhappy facial expression. They said that no bullying or teasing whatsoever was being illustrated or communicated and they did not see how Section 2.30 of the Code was being violated.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee noted the concern raised by the complainant and the views of the advertiser. The Committee considered that the woman’s friend’s behaviour at the beginning of the advertising could be considered as a form of bullying or anti-social behaviour and was therefore in breach of the Section 2.30 of the Code.
The advertisement must not reappear in its current form.