ASA Adjudication on Zazzle Inc
1900 Seaport Boulevard, 4th Floor
10 August 2011
Number of complaints:
The Zazzle Inc website advertised a children’s T-shirt in April 2011. It was labelled “Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels Tee Shirt”. An image of the product, which carried the slogan “NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS SKINNY FEELS!”, was included.
The complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and could cause harm to children, because they believed it implied being underweight was desirable and therefore might encourage children to develop an unhealthy body image and an unhealthy relationship with food.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Zazzle said they were a technology company that had developed a platform to allow an open marketplace for products designed by users. They said members of their marketplace were free to create and sell their own designs on products. Although Zazzle did not pre-screen content before it was uploaded to their website, the marketplace had tools to allow users to report products they found offensive or that otherwise violated their user agreement. They said the designs in question were created by a member or members of the marketplace. However, when they were contacted by the ASA, Zazzle had restricted the designs so they did not appear on children’s clothing.
The ASA noted Zazzle had restricted the design so it no longer appeared on children’s clothing. We also noted, however, that at the time the ad appeared, it featured children and promoted a product that was designed for them to wear. We considered an ad that promoted a children’s T-shirt that carried the slogan “NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS SKINNY FEELS!” implied being underweight was desirable and that it might therefore encourage children to develop an unhealthy body image and an unhealthy relationship with food. Because we considered the ad could condone or encourage an unsafe practice or result in physical, mental or moral harm to children, we concluded that it was irresponsible.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 4.5 (Harm and offence) and 5.1 (Children).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Zazzle to ensure future ads were not irresponsible and, particularly where they were addressed to or depicted children, did not contain anything that was likely to condone or encourage an unsafe practice or to result in their physical, mental or moral harm.