Diet Chef weight loss advert banned for implying women only feel happy when slim

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  • An advert promoting a weight loss brand has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for implying that women can only feel happy when slim.

    Meal delivery service Diet Chef has caused a stir after releasing an advert that has offended viewers by implying that happiness can only be achieved by losing weight.

    The advert shows a woman called Cheryl standing in her living room, looking at a framed picture on her mantle piece of herself on holiday in a bikini. While she’s staring at the picture, looking upset, a slimmer version of herself walks into the room and starts to talk to her.

    The first woman looks astounded to see herself looking slimmer and begins to talk to her, saying ‘You look amazing. I never dreamed I could be that slim again.’

    Her slimmer self replies, ‘It feels good, why did we wait so long?’.

    The first woman gets emotional, asking, ‘I want what you’ve got, how?’

    Throughout the advert voice overs and text let the viewer know that Cheryl achieved her weight loss through Diet Chef.

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints from 26 viewers noting that the advert was inappropriate for exploiting women’s body insecurities by implying that they needed to be slim to be happy.

    Complaints also perceived that as the first Cheryl wore no make up and baggy clothes that the advert implied that larger women don’t make an effort to look nice.

    Diet Chef claimed that the advert was typical of the ‘before and after’ approach that many weight loss businesses use to market their products and that the message of committing to a controlled diet to give you satisfaction is a positive one.

    The ASA ruled that the first Cheryl’s unkept appearance would not offend viewers but that her unhappiness in not being able to wear a bikini seemed disproportionate to concerns about her weight, especially as she did not appear to be particularly overweight.

    The ASA commented, that the advert ‘implied that weight loss was the only solution to her problems.

    ‘It therefore implied that those with insecurities about their bodies, and particularly their weight, could only achieve happiness and self-confidence through weight loss.

    ‘We therefore concluded that the ad presented a socially irresponsible approach to body image and breached the code.’