Protein World, whose “Are you beach body ready?” subway ads infuriated commuters on both sides of the Atlantic—they were accused of blatant body shaming—is back with another ad campaign on the London Underground.
This time, the ads star a seemingly heavily airbrushed Khloé Kardashian, and ask another pointed question: “Can you keep up with a Kardashian?”
The new ads, of course, have upset many people, which for this advertiser seems to be the whole point. When Protein World brought its “Are you beach body ready?” campaign to New York City in the summer of 2015, the brand’s then-CMO called it “a big middle finger” to anyone who had complained when the ads ran in London.
Transport for London, which can ban advertising that pressures people to conform to unhealthy or unrealistic body images, approved the new ads, the mayor’s office told Cosmopolitan U.K.
However, Caroline Russell, a member of the London Assembly, has publicly called for the ads to be removed.
“People taking the Tube should not have to be bombarded with adverts that imply their bodies aren’t good enough,” she said. “I am urging the Mayor to look again at these adverts that challenge young people to ‘keep up’ with reality stars known for idealized and unrealistic body shapes.”
Folks on Twitter, too, have been having a field day with backlash to the ads, and backlash to the backlash. (See below.) AdFreak has reached out to Protein World and will update this story with any response.
Here are more Kardashian images from the Protein World website: