Discard poor body image in our OOH, NEDIC urges

A new campaign from the National Eating Disorder Information Centre uses an OOH-based media strategy to raise awareness about how fashion industry-generated images influence women's and girls' body image.

The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) is taking marketers and fashion leaders to task for the way they cast women appearing in ads and fashion spreads.

Working with creative partner Toronto-based Zulu Alpha Kilo, and with media support from Ottawa-based Ascribe, NEDIC has launched a campaign to coincide with Eating Disorder Awareness Week which took place last week. The campaign aims to make women and girls aware of how even brief exposure to pictures of thin models can have a negative effect on their image, making them more prone to developing eating disorders.

Campaign creative features the tagline ‘Cast responsibly. Retouch minimally,’ and includes a transit shelter execution in Toronto encouraging women to drop their perceived weight problem by dropping their beauty magazines through a slot in the poster. A greeting card, which reads, ‘Thanks for helping to make me a successful anorexic,’ and a t-shirt with an extremely small waist with the message, ‘Please try this on to experience how your ads make us feel,’ were sent to select beauty and lifestyle marketers and fashion leaders in Canada, the US and the UK.

‘It was time, we thought, to address some of the influences on body image and self-esteem, and there is certainly a growing body of evidence that shows that, exclusively, some media images of women negatively impact on girls and women’s sense of worth and body dissatisfaction regardless of their size,’ Merryl Bear, director, NEDIC, tells MiC.

Each creative element drives the industry target to an online pledge housed on NEDIC’s website, where they are asked to make a commitment to rethink the way they cast and minimize the amount they retouch. The public can get involved online too by signing a petition to push marketers and fashion leaders to broaden their definition of beauty.