I’m always lurking around for jumpsuits with room for thighs. So because the internet is the internet, I always get flooded with ads for stuff that fits curvier women — and tips and tricks no one needs.
Today on WordStream, an online advertising site discovered that this ad from a retailer that very obviously makes threads for women who wear larger sizes, was banned.
Word Stream notes that even though the women on this ad appear larger than your typical models wearing things, there weren’t any words like “plus-size” or “curvy” on it, but it may have been tagged that way.
“The notice from Google said this: “Gmail Ads- Body type and personality targeting: Given the unique nature of Gmail ads and how users interact with these ads, we’ve developed an additional layer of policy requirements specific to Gmail ads. At this time, Gmail Advertising policy does not permit promotion of products and services that targets individuals with negative physical attributes such plus size, curvy. To run your ads, please remove any content related to body type and personality targeting from your ad or site.”
So in a move that surprises no one, brands have a sense of the stuff you throw change on and they attempt to capitalize on that. Naturally, your garden variety clothing ad wouldn’t be banned for targeting slimmer women, because that’s just what we mostly see.
I, for one, am rooting for Google’s choice to ban body type targeting all the way.
No question about it. More visuals of size diversity=a very good thing. Always nice to actually see women who don’t fit into the general consciousness of the ideal way to be a female.
But even if it kills ad sales or stops the flow of information about XL sheer tops, any privacy we’re entitled to when it comes to what the tags on our turtlenecks say, the better.
Of course, on some platforms body type targeting is unavoidable. If people elect to follow Ashley Graham’s goings on about town on Facebook because they know in their hearts she’s their homegirl, then perhaps they’d also enjoy a discount coupon add for an Addition Elle set. But the targeting can feel verrrry intrusive – not because women are so deathly terrified of getting eighteen identical daily reminders that they’re curvier, and therefore “niche.” That’s not the worst of it.
The problem is that the styling and the low-quality of the threads in many of the unfortunate ads continues to be embarrassing. That’s why, unethical or not, ads like this are unlikely to fill women with glee. The woman is gorgeous, but this look is still in that clearance category you’d rather not invite into your life like people who insist on speaking to you in the elevator. We never did find a dollar we couldn’t accidentally squander on a high-low top, but we don’t want to dress like trendy babushkas and a lot of it looks terrifically drab. Talk to me when the pullover ads look like Reformation or Simply Be and I might change my tune about the clothing ads.
Beyond that, when companies have your “number,” the wrong people get wind of it. I fear women will immediately be torpedoed to death with an endless procession of ads for magical weight pills and hideous ideas to help you lose belly cushion. That’s the really awful side of this.
Enlightened WordStream points out: “After all buyers of plus-size clothing don’t necessarily view curviness as a ‘negative physical attribute,’ and there’s reason to believe this demographic would like to see MORE of their body type represented in ads and media.”
Thank you for noting that we’re not hanging by the threads of our clearance shirts. Represented, yes, but not if it everyone’s wearing garbage.