Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Topshop drops ‘anorexic’ girl from ad

September 2011

A British clothing retailer has been forced to withdraw a fashion advertisement amid accusations that it promotes anorexia in young women.

The online advertisement, marketing Topshop’s Prim & Polished range, was criticized for encouraging eating disorders by using an 18-year-old size-eight model whose slim figure was described as ‘disturbing’ by health campaigners.

Topshop defended its marketing but immediately removed the offending advertisement, in which the figure of model Codie Young was accentuated by a belt and a downward-looking camera angle. It substituted another image of the model.

Size eight is not an uncommon UK dress size and Young said she was born ‘naturally skinny’. Topshop was confident that its model was ‘healthy’ and has no intention of dropping her from its marketing.

In a statement, the company said: “Topshop is proud of its heritage of celebrating individual-looking girls who offer an alternative and more unusual beauty.

“However, we take these comments very seriously and took down that specific image at the earliest opportunity.”

Topshop | UK & NI Ireland | Marketing

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