The 'Go Naked' campaign was conceived by the beauty brand as a way to highlight the packaging-free nature of many Lush products, by depicting naked women and featuring the strapline; “We prefer to go naked. Like over 100 of our products.”
It was intended to promote a body-positive narrative, the brand asserts, as the women in the adverts are of various, unphotoshopped body types.
However, the ASB upheld the four complaints it received against the campaign, which described Lush's move to be one of using “nudity for the sake of causing a stir”.
Many media outlets. Including the BBC and Buzzfeed, report that consumers have actually rallied around the brand, rather than the ASB ruling.
“We have had requests from customers wanting to continue the campaign in store and pose for the photo themselves,” a Lush colleague reportedly told BuzzfeedNews.
The complaints that the campaign was positioned at a child's eye level were taken on board by the ABS though, and the ruling was then released.
“It is pornographic in nature and breaches community and parental standards of what should be involuntarily viewed in public by children and adults,” an initial complaint said.
Lush has voiced its displeasure at the ABS decision, and asserted that it stands by the marketing approach.
“The image in the window is a body-positive reference [...] and is not in any way intended to cause any offence or upset,” the brand said in a statement to Buzzfeed.
“The women in the images are members of the Lush team who felt strongly about this important issue, and volunteered to be part of our campaign to highlight it.”
It's not the first beauty brand to push this message; Dove's popular 'Real Beauty' brand has been promoting the company's skin care range via body-positive messages for several years now.
Lush’s Australasia director, Peta Granger, told Buzzfeed that the decision from the ASB would not affect the way they advertise in the future.