"Irresponsible" Max Mara advert banned over "gaunt" model
The watchdog said that the advert highlighted the model's "very thin frame".
The fashion label's campaign appeared in the Sunday Times magazine on 28 February.
The UK watchdog said that it received three complaints about the image, and pointed to the way in which the composition of the shot emphasises the shape of the model's body.
In their assessment, the authority said:
"We noted that she was photographed from the side, which drew attention to the shape of her body and highlighted her very thin frame and the protrusion of her hip bone which was visible through the fabric.
"We also considered that the contrast of the ad’s background lighting, which had a sepia tone, against the black dress, further accentuated the silhouette of her frame and the model’s sombre facial expression and posture gave her a gaunt appearance.
"We therefore considered that she appeared unhealthily thin. For those reasons we considered that the model appeared underweight and therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible."
In their response to the complaints, Max Mara said that they "did not agree that the model was unhealthily thin", or that the ad was irresponsible.
The fashion company said that the model featured was "well known" and chosen for her "particular beauty". They added that there was "no intention to dwell on the thinness of the model" or promote "unrealistic or unhealthy ideals".
They also said that there was "nothing in the image which suggested that the model had an eating disorder or was pathologically underweight".
The Sunday Times told the Advertising Standards Authority that they had no comment to make.
If you have been affected by any of the details in this story you can contact Bodywhys on 01-2107906 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.