Debate Magazine

‘We Prefer to Go Naked’: Cosmetics Company LUSH Defends Posters Featuring Four of Their Employees Completely Nude

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Promoting a positive body image? They obviously don’t understand the health dangers of being overweight (the blue-haired woman is clearly overweight). Not the best “wholesome” image to promote to children, unless you want them to live a shorter life.

“Healthy images”. The full picture is shown below.

Daily Mail: A cosmetics company has defended their decision to use a photograph of four naked women in their advertising campaign despite having removed the photo from a Queensland store. LUSH – best known for making bath bombs popular in the Nineties – used the naked photo of four of their employees together with the slogan: ‘We prefer to go naked like over 100 of our products’.

The photo attracted complaints with one person branding it ‘pornographic’, but the company stood firm and said they hoped to ‘highlight the excessive packaging used for many products’ and promote positive body image. The advertisements ran through August and September this year both online and in 28 of the company’s retail stores.

A decision was made to remove the advertising from a Queensland store a week before the campaign ended after ongoing negotiations with Centre Management and feedback from the public.

A complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Bureau that claimed the image was ‘pornographic in nature’ and a breach of community and parental standards. ‘I am offended as this is nudity for the sake of causing a stir and is offensive and unnecessary,’ the complaint read. ‘I was unable to shield my children from exposure to this advert as it was on a poster in the center aisle of the shopping center.’ While the Advertising Standards Board said the majority of people would see the nudity not as pornographic but rather a visual statement, they still upheld the complaint.

‘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,’ they said.

Sydney local Courtney Fry, 24, took part in the campaign and told Daily Mail Australia it was about celebrating realistic body standards. ‘Personally I struggled with accepting my naked form,’ she said. ‘Airbrushed bodies are constantly around you and it can be quite hard, especially for a young girl. I want to be part of the change, not part of the problem.’

“Realistic body standards”

Miss Fry has worked at Lush for more than a year, and said the positive feedback they received from customers throughout the campaign outweighed the negative. ‘People were coming in saying how much it made them feel normal,’ she said. Miss Fry said she took the negative comments as ‘water off a ducks back’ and accepted people had different views and opinions.

Despite the move by the advertising board, a Lush spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia they would not let it impact their unique way of marketing and branding moving forward.  ‘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 spokesperson said.

‘The majority of critical feedback that we received was from people who were concerned about the effect on children.  While we absolutely respect everybody’s right to parent as they see fit, we do feel that this is a wholesome image – what could be better for young children’s self-image than to see a body positive depiction of unretouched and diverse bodies?’


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