Two images of two different models, which appeared at the end of a video for the high-fashion brand on The Times website, were in contention.
One image, which showed a model leaning against a wall wearing a long dress that covered most of her body, was ruled irresponsible.
The ASA considered her torso and arms, while slender, appeared to be out of proportion with her head and lower body.
“Further, her pose elongated her torso and accentuated her waist so that it appeared to be very small,” the ASA said.
The authority also said her dark eye make-up and sombre facial expression made her face appear “gaunt”.
The model was considered “unhealthily thin” and Gucci was ordered to remove the image from their ads.
However, another image from the same ad that was raised with the ASA, showing a woman sitting on a sofa, was not considered irresponsible.
The model, who wore a high-necked yellow jacket and a mid-length skirt, was not “excessively underweight” and her legs were in proportion with the rest of her body, the ASA said.
The image was deemed acceptable and did not need to be removed.
Model’s weight a ‘subjective issue’: Gucci
Gucci told the ASA that although the models had slim builds, they did not appear “unhealthily thin”.
The label said the ad, which showed a dance party, was aimed at an older sophisticated audience, and whether the model looked unhealthy was a subjective issue.
They argued the model’s make-up was natural, the lighting was warm to ensure no hollows were caused by shadows, no bones were visible and the garments were not revealing.
Many on social media disagreed with Gucci’s arguments and praised the banning of the image which showed someone “so far from the norm”.
The models in this ad not only all look unnaturally thin and with no apparent muscle tone, they also appear to be drugged,” one Facebook user said.
“It had a creepy vibe. Nobody looks healthy, or alive. They seem lifeless, sick, and out of it.”
Some said the image appeared to be badly photoshopped and had “removed half her body”.
Others defended naturally thin people and said banning the image was a variety of body shaming.
“Fat shaming is recognised as a real and valid complaint. Thin shaming should be too. Being really thin does not automatically make someone unhealthy,” one said.
“Now judges are pretending to be able to judge one’s health simply by looking.”
*** Featured Image via Gucci
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