Skip to Content

Gucci Gets Flak From British Regulator For ‘Unhealthily Thin’ Model

Hong Kong Weathers Global Financial StormHong Kong Weathers Global Financial Storm
The entrance to a Gucci store.Photograph by George Rose—Getty Images

A recent ad campaign by Gucci elicited criticism from an advertising regulator.

A complaint was issued with the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority that regarded two models in a Gucci commercial as “unhealthily thin,” and said that the video was “irresponsible.” Titled “The Cruise,” it was posted online in December on The Times of London’s website.

In the ASA’s assessment of the complaint, it determined that the advertisement breached responsible advertising codes. Of the two models the complainant referred to, the regulator resolved that one of them did appear to fit the “unhealthily thin” description. According to the assessment, her torso and arms seemed disproportionate to her head and lower body, and her somber facial expression and dark makeup paired together “made her face look gaunt.”

Gucci responded to the complaint defensively, saying that the issue of whether or not the model looks unhealthily thin is “to some extent, a subjective [one],” and it didn’t believe that was the case in this advertisement. The Italian fashion brand said that none of her bones were visible, she was simply “toned and slim.”

The ASA’s assessment was upheld, ruling that Gucci’s ad “must not appear again in its current form.” Gucci has since removed the final two images from the video.

This is the second time in less than a year that the ASA has upheld this kind of decision. Last summer the regulator ruled that an Yves Saint Laurent ad breached the same responsible advertising codes after a similar complaint was issue.