Apple’s latest advertisement has come under fire for discriminating against overweight and obese people.
The Advertising Standards Bureau has investigated the advertisement, which shows a montage of images showing different people using their iPhone to assist with their exercises with the backing song “Go, you chicken fat, go”.
Complaints to the ASB included that “the entire song and advertisement demonises overweight/obese people. This leads to further decrease in self-esteem and further harm.”
In its response to the complaints, a spokesperson for Apple disputed the claims and said the advertisement had a “positive and inspirational” message.
“Apple is at a loss to understand and denies the allegation that the ‘Strength’ advertisement ‘demonizes overweight/obese people’ or is discriminatory or vilifying in any way,” the spokesperson said.
The ASB found the advertisement did not breach the Advertisers Code of Ethics as the lyrics of the song were intended to be “light-hearted and encouraging”.
“The images used in the advertisement do not feature overweight or obese people and there is no suggestion that the advertisement is suggesting that overweight or obese people should be discriminated against or vilified because of their appearance,” the board found.
Michelle Gamble, owner of Marketing Angels, told SmartCompany she thinks the Apple ad is “a great bit of advertising”.
“The soundtrack is a catchy little tune but the ASB has done the right thing as you can’t look at one part of the ad in isolation,” she says.
“You have to look at the entire picture and the imagery used in those ads is very positive and inspiring and tells you if you want to get out there Apple’s technology is an enabler.”
Gamble says the images, text on the screen and music all send a message to the consumer.
“I think anytime you mention anything about weight or sexuality or something like that you are going to capture the attention of people who are sensitive about it, but I can’t see that this ad is offensive,” she says.
“It’s a bit of political correctness gone a bit mad.”
Apple declined to comment to SmartCompany.