They just don't sell: Why women hate skinny models in ads

  • IANS, New York
  • Updated: May 25, 2015 14:46 IST

Advertising pros! Pause before you cast a thin model in your next advertisement feature. Researchers have found that thin models could alienate up to 70% of your audience.

Not all women will buy products because the models in the advertisements are thin, the researchers noted.

"The current 'thin sells' fixation is a gross oversimplification of how women respond to advertising," the study said.

"We need to look at the target market, and we also have to look at the product category," said study co-author James Roberts, professor of marketing at the Baylor University in the US.

"For some product categories, 'thin' is probably going to do better. For others, it very well may be that an average-size model may sell better than a thin model. It just may be a good business decision," Roberts noted.

The study involved a diverse group of 239 women.

To conduct the study, the researchers had to determine which of the women surveyed internalised the "thin ideal".

"It was our belief that women who ascribed to the 'thin ideal' would be more receptive to the thinner models," Roberts said.

Of those surveyed, 25% disagreed with the "thin ideal" and 45 percent did not fully ascribe to it.

"For those who did not ascribe to the thin ideal, model size did not play a part in ad effectiveness," Roberts said.

The study was published in the Atlantic Marketing Journal.

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