• PrintMag

The Body Shop’s Honest Ad Campaign

Where do I start. Let’s begin in 1998, when Britain-based company, The Body Shop, found that its sales in the U.S. had been declining. Perhaps it was simply an attempt to rebrand the company as a friend of the “average” woman, that prompted the creation of Ruby, a print ad campaign using a pudgy plastic doll nicknamed Ruby.

According to co-owner Anita Roddick, “In 1998, The Body Shop debuted its self-esteem campaign, featuring the generously proportioned doll we dubbed “Ruby.” Her rubenesque figure graced windows in The Body Shop windows in the UK that year, along with our slogan, “There are 3 billion women who don’t look like supermodels and only 8 who do.” She went on to appear in stores in Australia, Asia, and the United States, where she captured the imaginations of consumers weary of the rail-thin heroin-chic of the beauty industry’s advertising messages.”

The Body Shop later tried to engage older women with a print ad of Ruby in the future:

Numerous women have been chanting a call to bring Ruby back. But now that L’oreal owns the company (they paid $1.1 billion for it in 2006), I’m not sure they’ll willing to chance Ruby going viral.

The Body Shop is trying to “activate self-esteem” in women. Maybe next time, they could use a naked female brain instead.

#printads #printadvertising



PRINT (founded 1940) is where creative people gather to inspire and build design dialogue. Perpetually curious about everything design, we report on, curate and celebrate visual culture, the makers of that culture and the expression of graphic design in all its forms and mediums.  


Keep up with all things PRINT by

subscribing to our e-newsletters now!


For general questions about PRINT or PRINT Holdings, LLC contact: info@printmag.com

  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook