15 Nov 2018 | Digital editions, magazines, websites, e-zines, handbooks and contract publishing for the leisure industry

Leisure Opportunities issue 749, 2018 is now out!

Blogs:

Read blogs by writer:

Liz Terry
CEO,
Leisure Media

Kate Cracknell
editor-at-large,
Health Club Management

Tom Walker
Journalist,
Leisure Media

Our guest writers:

Aleatha Ezra
Director of park member development,
World Waterpark Association

Jennifer Fields
Communications Coordinator,
Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Brad Irwin
Partnerships development manager,
Natural History Museum

Michel Buchel
President of Ecsite and CEO of NEMO, Amsetrdan,
NEMO

Julie Becker
Communications and Events Manager,
Ecsite

Eva McDiarmid
Chief Executive,
ASVA

Kurt Janson
Policy Director,
Tourism Alliance

Peter Ducker
Chief executive,
Institute of Hospitality

Maria Zolotonosa
Project Manager,
Ecsite

Ian Taylor
CEO,
SkillsActive

Ufi Ibrahim
Chief Executive,
British Hospitality Association

John Goodbody
Sports Journalist

Sam Coulstock
Customer Relationship Director,
Springboard

Lucy Schweingruber
Fundraising and Events Manager,
Ecsite

View all guest writers

Is fit now offensive?

02 Jun 2015
by Kate Cracknell, editor-at-large, Health Club Management
What does it say about our society when we’re offended by the sight of a fit, healthy body?

Fitness industry take heed: some of today’s consumers see images of fit, toned bodies not as aspirational and motivating, but rather as offensive and discriminatory. At least, that’s what the recent furore over Protein World’s ‘Are you beach body ready?’ ad campaign would have us believe.

It all kicked off in April with adverts for the company’s diet shakes, which appeared in the London Underground. The poster – of a slim, toned model in a yellow bikini next to the words ‘Are you beach body ready?’ – was hardly the first to use this sort of imagery to sell a product. Yet this particular poster got the public’s back up, and within days an outpouring on Twitter – #everybodysready – had led to defaced posters, tens of thousands of people signing an online petition demanding they be taken down, and a small protest in Hyde Park where people of all shapes and sizes braved the UK weather to strip down to their swimming costumes and show off their ‘beach bodies’.

Protein World’s response was defiant, launching its own #getagrip hashtag and, it claims, reaping the rewards of this viral phenomenon in the shape of £1m+ in direct sales revenue. Neither did the advertising authorities share protesters’ concerns: Transport for London only took the posters down at the end of the three-week campaign as they didn’t contravene its advertising standards, while the ASA has only now banned the ad over concerns of misleading health claims – although it is now investigating whether the poster breaks harm and offence rules.

The social media-fuelled outcry should therefore be taken with a pinch of salt. Yes, the objections are worth bearing in mind – especially by a sector that, as a whole, still relies far too heavily on ‘beach body’-style images in its marketing. But really it’s just about knowing your audience.

If you’re a leisure centre with a brief to get inactive people moving, then follow the lead of This Girl Can, Nuffield Health and I Will If You Will, whose recent ads show how ‘normal’ people can be both aspirational and realistic.

However, if you’re a CrosssFit box that caters for the already fit, the yellow bikini girl – slim but hardly a size zero – would be an appropriate image. Ditto for Protein World, as evidenced by its sales boom. You can’t be all things to all people in your advertising; if you are, you’re probably not making an impact with your target market.

But #everybodysready raises another consideration: the public’s growing acceptance of overweight as the norm – and a norm we increasingly daren’t challenge for fear of offence. But what does it say about our society when we’re offended by the sight of a fit, healthy body?

Body image is certainly a topic to be addressed delicately, and of course there’s a difference between a few extra pounds and obesity. But with new research showing that nearly 95 per cent of parents of overweight children believe their kids are exactly the right size – and many overweight people perceiving themselves to be slimmer than they are – the fitness industry has a role to play in educating people and helping re-set their sights before this new norm becomes embedded.



Tags: Health Club Management  health & fitness 

Share this story
Connect with Health Club Management
Follow us:
Magazine:
Download PDF
View Turning Pages
 
Sign up:
Instant Alerts
Ezine
Print edition

Comments (0) Be the first to comment!

You must be logged in to comment.   Login | Register


Not registered? Click here to register

Recent posts by Kate Cracknell


View more posts by Kate Cracknell

Connect with healthclubmanagement.co.uk

       

Latest tweets from healthclubmanagement.co.uk

Latest jobs from healthclubmanagement.co.uk

Head Chef

Company: Parkwood Leisure, Salary: , Location: Buxton, UK

Fitness Instructor

Company: Legacy Leisure, Salary: £7.83 per hour, Location: Brackley, UK

Leisure Assistant

Company: Circadian Leisure Trust, Salary: £7.90 - £8.45 per hour , Location: Kingswood, Bristol, UK

Leisure Assistant

Company: Circadian Leisure Trust, Salary: £7.90 - £8.45 per hour , Location: Kingswood, Bristol, UK

Leisure Assistant

Company: Circadian Leisure Trust, Salary: £7.90 - £8.45 per hour , Location: Kingswood, Bristol, UK

Sales Advisor

Company: Everyone Active, Salary: Competitive salary, Location: East Hertfordshire District, UK

General Manager - Climbing Centre

Company: The Climbing Hangar, Salary: £28,000 -33,000 + bonus, Location: Plymouth, UK

Assistant Wellbeing and Fitness Manager

Company: Champneys Tring, Salary: Competitive, Location: Tring, UK

General Manager

Company: Everyone Active, Salary: Excellent salary plus benefits, Location: Solihull, UK

Area Commercial Manager

Company: Continuum Attractions, Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits, Location: North of England and Scotland, UK

Team Leader

Company: Achieve Lifestyle, Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits, Location: Egham, UK

Receptionist

Company: Parkwood Leisure, Salary: £7.83 per hour, Location: Bristol, UK

Recreation Assistant

Company: Parkwood Leisure, Salary: £7.10 - £8.10 per hour, Location: Bristol, UK

Duty Manager - Fitness

Company: Lex Leisure, Salary: , Location: Nottingham, UK

Duty Manager - Fitness

Company: Lex Leisure, Salary: , Location: Nottingham, UK

Innovation Manager - DAD

Company: Women in Sport, Salary: £32,000 per annum, Location: London, UK

Innovation Manager - DAD

Company: Women in Sport, Salary: £32,000 per annum, Location: London, UK

IT Service Desk Analyst

Company: Mytime Active, Salary: £16000 - £20000 per annum, Location: Kent, England, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

Company: GLL, Salary: , Location: Thornton Heath, South London

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

Company: GLL, Salary: , Location: Thornton Heath, South London

The Leisure Media Company, Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ.
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 Fax: +44 (0)1462 433909 |
About us | © Cybertrek Ltd