Lush clashes with ad watchdog over 'Go Naked' campaign

Australia's ASB upholds complaint

Lush Cosmetics in Australia and New Zealand has clashed with the country's Advertising Standards Board over its latest campaign. The watchdog upheld a complaint made against its 'Go Naked' campaign but the brand has refused to change its stance.

The homemade cosmetics brand launched the campaign in response to the overuse of packaging by many cosmetics manufacturers and retailers. The ad, featuring unclothed Lush employees, appeared in store windows as well as on social media.

Several complaints were submitted to the Advertising Standards Board, including comments that the image was "pornographic" and "inappropriate for the family environment of the shopping centre". While the board accepted that the adverts were not sexually suggestive and considered that "most reasonable members of the community would understand and accept that the nudity in the advertisement is not pornographic or overtly sexualised", it still upheld the complaint. The board said that the adverts could be viewed by children and were in breach of the advertising code.

Lush responded to the initial response reiterating the ad's positive message. It said: "The photos are shot not to titillate, but with the utmost respect for these wonderful human beings and their commitment to this cause. The image is completely untouched, as we feel that we should not be ashamed of our bodies in their natural state, and that every single one of us is beautiful in our diversity, regardless of colour, shape, size, or life choices."

While the company accepted the board's decision and said that it would "take this under advisement when planning future campaigns", it also shared with the board with a number of positive responses to the campaign. One Facebook commenter said: "Love your new campaign. [...] The human body is natural thing and people shouldn't be afraid to love their bodies for what they are." Another added: "Thank you from the bottom of my hear for doing this."

Lush told the board that "all forms of customer feedback" would help to shape upcoming ad campaigns. In its official response to the ruling it concluded: "Our dedicated Customer Care team document all feedback received and in sharing some of these messages with the Advertising Standards Board we hope this will help reflect the wider impact to the broad audience that viewed our advertisement."

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