Protein World’s ad asking people if their bodies are ready for the beach has caused an uproar in the U.K. The campaign has been the subject of guerilla advertising, but this time around, we think that perhaps some folks have taken their righteous indignation a little too far.
Richard Staveley, head of global marketing for the company, told Good Morning Britain that Protein World has been seriously threatened since the backlash. “We’ve actually had threats on our Head Office, physical, violent threats. We had a bomb threat. That’s been reported to the police. It’s currently being investigated but as I say I can’t say anymore than that.” According to police, the report of the bomb threat wasn’t made until after the Good Morning Britain broadcast.
Staveley went on to explain the meaning behind the campaign, claiming that it was not meant to shame anyone or make them feel self-conscious about their bodies. It was simply meant to target an audience whose personal fitness goals might look similar to the body of the model in the image. “What we’re suggesting by ‘Are you beach body ready?’ is we’re asking if you as an individual have reached and attained your own goals that you set for yourself that are going to allow you to don your swimsuit,” he explained.
As we all know, intent and results are two different things and in this case, what seemed to Protein World like an innocuous ad asking if you’ve reached your fitness goals was actually read as a body shaming message meant to make people who might not have a toned tummy and slim thighs feel inferior. If the message of your campaign isn’t getting across, perhaps changing the tone might be in order. Still, combatting what one might read as body shaming with the threat of actual violence is extreme, to say the very least.
At any rate, angry commuters will be thrilled to hear that the posters will be removed from the subways soon, since Protein World’s contract with the Transport of London is nearly up.