High street stalwart Marks and Spencer (M&S) has come under fire for using “real women” in a new advertising campaign, with critics taking to social media to dispute the claim.
Under the tagline: “For every woman you are”, the advert aims to depict the real sizes of its customers and to represent a healthy body image with models in the ads posing in their underwear varying in size from sizes 8 to 16.
Appealing to the average woman has proved a successful marketing tool in the past, notably when Dove launched its Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004 which celebrated self-confidence by featuring women of all ages, shapes and sizes.
M&S customers vented their frustrations at the Autumn/Winter campaign via social media, with one Twitter comment noting: “Only one of these is over size 14 and even she has no wobbly bits at all.”
Models were berated for being too skinny to truly represent the average female in the UK, though some took the opportunity to applaud the retailer for avoiding ubiquitous airbrushing techniques.
One said on Twitter: “Loving the new M&S “sexy shapewear” advert. Real women with real bodies! That’s how you sell underwear!”
An M&S spokesperson highlighted the fact that there has been a huge amount of positive reaction to the images and said that the retailer is proud to offer something different.
The spokesperson added: “We’re really proud of our campaign, which celebrates women, and our customers have told us they love it too.”