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Protein World's "Beach Body Ready" Adverts Are Not Offensive, Watchdog Rules

The controversial adverts remain banned in the UK over claims of promoting unrealistic weight loss, but an investigation has ruled they're not offensive.

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The ads ran earlier this year and made headlines after many people said they found them offensive.

This advert pretty much sums up everything that I despise about how we treat and value women's bodies.

Transport for London subsequently removed the ads, and the ASA said "the ad could not appear again in its current form" on the grounds of concerns about unrealistic weight loss claims.

However, the ASA then undertook a separate investigation to decide whether the ads were “in breach of the advertising rules on harm, offence and social responsibility". And today ruled that they were not.

The ASA said it had received 378 complaints from people who found that the ads "idealised" one particular body shape and implied that any other physique was not good enough to be considered "beach body ready."

In the final assessment, published on the ASA website, the agency said:

We considered that [the term "beach body ready"] also had a broader meaning - that of feeling sufficiently comfortable and confident with one's physical appearance to wear swimwear in a public environment. We considered the claim "ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY?" prompted readers to think about whether they were in the shape they wanted to be for the summer and we did not consider that the accompanying image implied that a different body shape to that shown was not good enough or was inferior.

YouGov has released statistics saying that most men agree that the ads are not offensive, while most women do not.

The ASA has ruled the 'beach body ready' ad was not offensive. Most men agree...(Women do not) http://t.co/VXuPpHre92

The ads recently reached New York, where they have not been banned but women are definitely still offended.

These Protein World Beach Body ads need to get the hell out of my face

One of my favorites I've seen #eachbodysready #WeAreNotThings #

#beachbodyready ad by @proteinworld banned in the UK shines in @nycsubway & nobody cares? @guardian

.@ProteinWorld has crossed the Atlantic, #beachbodyready apocalypse?

#proteinworld screw you for trying to make women feel like shite about their bodies! We are beautiful just the way we are!! #EachBodysReady

Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Laura Silver at laura.silver@buzzfeed.com.

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