Source: Advertising Standards Authority

Re:Nourish said it ‘did not consider the nudity gratuitous nor overly sexualised’

Re:Nourish has been rapped by the ASA for an advert featuring a naked man with a bottle of soup superimposed over his genitals.

The watchdog said the ad – which featured the strapline: “Re:Nourish. #Nothingtohide. Vegan, fresh soup and 100% recyclable” – could cause widespread offence.

The ad was brought before the watchdog after a complainant challenged whether it was “offensive and irresponsible”, claiming that it was likely to be seen by children due to its placement in a “busy city centre location”.

Re:Nourish said that the locations “had been chosen in order to avoid causing offence based on local sensitivities”.

It claimed it “did not consider the nudity gratuitous nor overly sexualised and considered that it did not degrade the model”.

Despite this, the ASA upheld the complaint, stating: “The image was likely to be seen by children and adults.

“We noted that the ad was for soup and considered the image of a naked man bore no relation to the product advertised,” it said.

“While we considered the pose was only mildly suggestive in nature, we noted that most of the man’s head was cropped out of the picture, which invited viewers to focus on his body.”

“We also considered the text “#nothingtohide” was likely to be understood as a pun about nudity, which some might also consider sexually suggestive.”

Taking the image, strapline, and the placement of the bottle into account, the watchdog “considered that the ad was likely to have the effect of objectifying the man by using his physical features to draw attention to an unrelated product”.

“We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence to some people.”

A Re:Nourish spokeswoman told The Grocer the brand was “disappointed by the findings of this ruling because we pride ourselves on making a positive difference to the nation’s health and acknowledge that healthy bodies come in all sizes”.

“Our marketing, including the #nothingtohide campaign, reflects the bold, creative and confident culture of our brand, and is not designed to intentionally cause offence.”

It comes after the brand last year secured a £2m investment to fund its global growth ambitions.

The business, which claims its patented microwaveable bottled soup as a world first, enjoyed rapid growth throughout the pandemic as consumers stocked up cupboards and turned to healthier products.