Some angry Londoners have taken to defacing controversial signs promoting Protein World’s “Beach Body Ready” ad campaign, and the company’s CEO is calling those people “terrorists,” The Independent is reporting.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, nutrition-supplement retailer Protein World is running an ad campaign in London featuring models so thin as to be almost unhealthy-looking, asking potential customers “Are You Beach Body Ready?”
The ad campaign drew heated controversy, with opponents saying that it promoted unrealistic ideas of beauty. A petition was started on Change.org, calling on Protein World to remove the advertisements.
“Protein World is directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product.”
Some protesters of the ad campaign have, unfortunately, taken things up a notch, by vandalizing the signs throughout London, according to Digital Spy. Some of the acts of vandalism have tended toward the obscene, using language that won’t be show on The Inquisitr. Others have been less vulgar, but certainly make their point.
— Miranda Fay (@mirandafay) April 22, 2015
— Stage Door Johnny (@StageDoorJohnny) April 25, 2015
Protein World CEO Arjun Seth claims to have been taken completely aback by the backlash the ad campaign has generated. He called the ads “aspirational,” meaning that he believes people who view his ads (and buy his products) should “aspire” to look like the sickly women in the ads. He also claimed to Channel 4 News that the people opposed to the Beach Body Ready ad campaign are in the minority, calling them “extremists [who] shout a lot.” And as for the people who are vandalizing the ads?
“They’re terrorists, you can quote me on that.”
Miranda Fay, who admits to having herself vandalized at least one of the ads, had some rather pointed things to say to the Protein World CEO in response to being called a terrorist.
— Miranda Fay (@mirandafay) April 27, 2015
The controversy doesn’t seem to have harmed Protein World’s sales; in fact, if Arjun Seth is to be believed, the controversy has even helped his company’s bottom line.
“It’s good – we gained about 20,000 followers in the last few days. Sales have gone up significantly. What people like is we are standing up for our brand.”
Protein World’s CEO says that he will consider taking down the Beach Body Ready ads if the Change.org petition reaches one million signatures; as of this post, it’s reached just under 50,000.