Gucci is currently receiving flack for its cruise 2016 ad campaign which appeared on The Times' website back in December 2015.
The online video ad and accompanying still photos have been banned in the U.K. by Britain's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for featuring "unhealthily thin" models. According to the ASA report, two models in particular were singled out: the one seated on the couch, and the other leaning against the wall.
Guccio Gucci SpA's argue that the ads were "part of a video that portrayed a dance party and was aimed at an older, sophisticated audience" and that it was a "subjective issue as to whether a model looked unhealthy thin." And though Gucci did admit both models had slim builds, they say the models were "not depicted in a way that could be interpreted as unhealthy thin," mentioning the heavy makeup and lighting might have "accentuated the impression of thinness."
While the ASA does agree the model seated on the sofa did not appear to be unhealthily thin, in terms of proportions, they do note that the other model's torso and arms were "quite slender and appeared to be out of proportion with her head and lower body." These reasons, along with the "sombre facial expression" and "dark make up" which made her face look "gaunt" along with her pose accentuating the slenderness of her waist, are why the ASA dubbed the ad "irresponsible" and "must not appear again in its current form."
This isn't the first time the ASA has called out banned fashion ads — an Yves Saint Laurent ad which appeared in ELLE U.K. in 2015 was banned for featuring a model who appeared to be "unhealthily underweight," while a Miu Miu ad was banned in the same year for appearing to "show a child dressed as an adult in a sexually suggestive pose."