Real Shoppers see these unrealistic and unethical expectations and see that these cannot be naturally met
Promotion of unhealthy relationships to food by making girls want to reach the unrealistic body standards.
Consumers’ self consciousness of their flaws will feel exaggerated to them seeing near “perfect” people.
The strategy to only use ‘perfect’ bodies could backfire as it may send mixed messages to consumers who may think that the business only provides products suited to that particular body type.
Unethical marketing and it’s Impact on Consumers
H&M using the ideology of only ‘perfect’ bodies in their ad campaign will not only drastically affect their branding image but it will also affect their main target market, which is consumers of young ages, from teenagers to young adults.
This advertisement has a negative impact on this age bracket as their minds and bodies are still developing and changes to their bodies are inevitable. Having an image that portrays the ideal woman to be slim, tall and overall perfect with regards to their appearance leads to negative mental impact for their consumers.
Consumers, specifically women for who this advertisement is targeted towards, will start to have a sense of self doubt and question every part of themselves, it will make the consumer question their own identity.
The consumer may feel as if they must purchase the product advertised through the “perfectly” generated models in hope that they can get one step closer to reaching these standards set out by these companies, however this method may also repel others who may take direct offence and choose to shop with a competitor/rival brand or self damage their image of themselves by feeling as if they are not good enough.
They will start to question whether they are good enough, do they fit in with society’s ideal standards, do they portray what a ‘real’ woman is, and they will question their own judgement of what they value and what they’re comfortable with.
H&M Response to Unethical Marketing
Due to large backlash, H&M responded quickly defending their ad campaign. Their argument stated that they simply just photographed the garments on their mannequins in store and created digital images of women to fit the garment.
They defend that there is nothing offensive about their ad campaign as this is a common technique used in the fashion industry.
H&M stated that they weren’t trying to convey the ideal body image or type, they were just trying to use a new technique to show their garments off as if it was to be fitted on a real life person.
However, regardless of H&M’s defenses towards their ad campaign, their ideology does not suit today’s consumers, this is because consumers are constantly looking to brands to be more inclusive and open about different body types.
H&M is one of a few retailers that are still advertising their garments to be towards a specific size and body image, by continuing with this advertising tactic H&M could experience more backlash which could change their brand image, but it also means that they will need to have an action in place to recover a potential loss in sales from people who are sizes different to what they advertise or from people whose values does not align with H&M after this campaign.
The Perfect bodies campaign was found on Facebook, Twitter and all big social media platforms which does create problems for real shoppers as it affects their own image and their perspective of others images too.
Instead of H&M branching out to different sectors of the market they hold on tight to the narrow minded ideas that women size 8 downwards is the ideal body type and yet their clothing ranges higher than an 8 going to size 20 but there are no plus size models or healthy realistic body types wearing clothing suitable for all shapes and sizes.