A Tube ad featuring Khloe Kardashian, by the company behind the controversial “beach body ready” campaign, has been cleared for use.
The poster showed the reality star wearing a leotard alongside the text: “Can you keep up with a Kardashian?”.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 14 complaints about Protein World’s “socially irresponsible” promotion.
But it ruled the campaign did not “encourage harmful dieting behaviour”.
The firm told the ASA the overall response to the ad was that it was motivating and empowering, and it did not believe it was socially irresponsible.
It added that Transport for London had approved the poster.
The watchdog decided the ads “promoted Khloe Kardashian’s body image as desirable and aspirational; this was supported by her pose and the airbrushed style”.
“We did not consider that she appeared to be out of proportion or unhealthy.”
It said people would understand the phrase “Can you keep up with a Kardashian?” as a reference to TV series Keeping up with the Kardashians, and the use of Protein World’s products to “achieve a desirable body image”.
The ASA added: “We acknowledged that the use of the terms ‘Can you keep up with … ‘ and ‘challenge’ could be interpreted as having a competitive quality, but we did not consider that the terms or the ads overall encouraged excessive weight loss or other extreme or potentially harmful dieting behaviour.
“We therefore concluded the ads were not socially irresponsible.”
The firm’s 2015 ad campaign, which asked “are you beach body ready?” drew 380 complaints amid widespread social media outrage.
Ads in Tube stations – which featured a model in a yellow bikini – were defaced.
Then, the ASA had already ruled the ad could not appear again in its current form due to problems with its health and weight loss claims but it concluded it was “unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence”.
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