'Unrealistic Body Image' Banned From Australian Advertising


'Unrealistic Body Image' Banned From Australian Advertising

Changes to advertising regulations will impact what's in your social media feeds, with a crackdown on unrealistic body images.

The Australian Association of National Advertisers' (AANA) Code of Ethics update will see advertising and marketing material prohibited from including body shapes that are "unrealistic or unattainable" with healthy practices.

This comes following the trend of using social media influencers to market products, however due to the nature of social media platforms, often the image portrayed is far from reality.

In a statement about the code update, the AANA said that "the update serves as a timely reminder to ensure advertising is not associated with an unrealistic body image".


Advertising and marketing communication must not portray an unrealistic ideal body image by portraying body shapes or features that are unrealistic or unattainable through healthy practices. For example, an unrealistic ideal body image may occur where the overall theme, visuals or language used in the advertisement imply that a particular body shape is required to use the product or service.

- AANA statement


"We know from our Advertising Sentiment Index research that body image in advertising is a community concern and the AANA is committed to ensuring that advertising does not exacerbate the problem, by setting a standard that advertising must not promote an unrealistic body image," AANA Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs Simone Brandon said. ​

The Butterfly Foundation has supported the move, noting the huge impact that advertising has on body image.

"Advertisers have a moral and social responsibility to educate themselves and be diverse in their portrayal of body shapes and sizes. Over-representation in popular culture, of which advertising is part, of so called 'ideal' bodies can trigger body dissatisfaction and translate into dangerous behaviours and in some cases, eating disorders," The Butterfly Foundation CEO Christine Morgan said.