Lush Products’ Body Positive Ad Gets the Smack Down

ShamelessLush Australia is part of the beauty product company known for using ethically sourced ingredients, hand making their products, and fighting animal testing  (Full disclosure: Their Dragon’s Egg bathbombs rock my world and while they’ve never given me free product, I’m still holding out hope!) Recently they wanted to create an ad campaign to speak out against excess packaging They decided that they could also speak out for body positivity in the same ad  and this was the result:


Of course people were very excited to see a diversity of bodies represented, Lush agreed to have even more diverse sizes and skin colors in future ads, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Just kidding!  Some people insisted that it was pornography and that because it was hanging in a store window, rendering them unable to “shield their children” from it and so they complained to the Advertising Standards Board. The ABS conceded that the ad was not sexually explicit, but ruled that “The full body images and the fact that there are four women rather than an individual meant that the overall impact was increased and was confronting,”

So the ad was removed.  Many of the people who asked me to write about this asked if I think people would have complained if the ad was comprised of thin women.  Maybe they would have, there’s no way to know. Regardless, I deeply appreciate that Lush created the ad in the first place, and that they continue to stand behind it.

The Director of Lush Australia, Peta Granger, told SmartCompany “All of us who work for Lush were incredibly proud to stand by this campaign and we’ll continue to address excess packaging and promote body positivity with our staff, customers and the public in a similar way…we received a handful of complaints internally, which is pretty tiny compared to the thousands of message of support, praise and ‘likes’ from parents, teachers and retailers — let alone the hundreds of thousands of people who walked past our 39 windows over the three-week campaign.”

Representation of diverse bodies needs to become the rule, not the exception, and I appreciate Lush for being part of the progress.

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10 thoughts on “Lush Products’ Body Positive Ad Gets the Smack Down

  1. I guess this was cool. Though how a company can say it’s embarking on diversity with all visibly white or light skinned bodies is beyond me. (Unless there was some version of the ad other than this one that I missed.) Kind of tired of race still being the ‘final frontier,’ ‘we’ll get to it later’ in size diversity convos.

    1. Yeah, I want to see more diversity in skin tone, as well as gender. I know there are plenty of men who like bath bombs, too. As do people with wheelchairs, etc.

      If it’s true there were four ads, it’s possible that there was more diversity than we know.

  2. yes I am sure the same group of folks complain and shield their children’s eyes as they go by the Victoria Secret store windows. Right? Well probably, but VS isn’t pressured into changing their ad approach.

    1. That was my first thought as well! VS is trying to sell sex–guess which ads bother me more when I see them with my kid? Yeah, not the one that got taken down.

  3. I read that there were 4 ads in total featuring a variety of body sizes and all of them were taken down. I wasn’t clear whether or not the complaints were directed to the one with larger bodies in particular. I already adore Lush and them putting together a campaign like this makes me happy.

  4. This is great! We definitely need to see more ads like this (with a wider variety of skin tones as well). I sent Lush an email thanking them and encouraging them to do more ads of this type that represent a nice variety of body shapes and sizes.

  5. I think they could avoid future such arguments about pornography, etc., if they put their text on a banner, that hovered over (but did not “clothe”) the models’ bottoms, thus maintaining the idea of avoiding excess packaging, while still maintaining sufficient modesty for public consumption in store windows.

    Maybe the models on the end could hold it, as if it were a long strip of cloth stretched behind them.

    That’s just to satisfy the “think of the children!” crowd. I very much like the ad, as is.

    Hooray for Lush! Now I want to buy beauty products.

  6. Great ad! I’m going to go and buy some Lush products now! And the “what about the children” brigade – my experience is children are not really bothered by bodies until they get programmed by their parents that there’s something embarrassing about them.

  7. I wrote this company to thank them for the ad and here’s what they wrote back:

    “Thank you for your lovely email!

    “It is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed our Go Naked campaign! The women featured in the images for this campaign are members of the LUSH team, who felt strongly about the message of the campaign and volunteered to take part and highlight body positivity, as well as unnecessary over-packaging. The photos are completely untouched, as we feel that we should not be ashamed of our bodies in their natural state, and that every single one of us is beautiful in our diversity, regardless of colour, shape, size, or life choices.

    “I am happy to say that all of the people featured in our windows and images are always volunteer staff, and we do our utmost to show the wonderful and diverse range of humans that are part of our team all around the world!

    “Thank you so much for taking the time to share your words of support! Have a wonderful day, and if we can be of any assistance please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

    “Kind regards,

    “Sheridan Powell – Customer Care Manager
    “LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics”

    THAT is awesome! It’s really cool that the staff themselves took part in this! 😀 I think that shows how much they really care about the message. 🙂

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