United Kingdom

Viewers left 'gobsmacked' by Body Shop ad showing woman pleasuring herself

Viewers have been left shocked by new Body Shop advert showing woman pleasuring herself, which appeared during ad breaks for Love Island.

The new Self Love ads, which do not feature a single product, focuses on three housemates on 'Self Love Street' all facing different issues related to self-worth. 

One housemate, Fran, has no matches on a dating app and initially feels disheartened, but at the end of the ad she's seen lighting candles, closing the curtains and jumping on to the bed before letting out a sigh as her hand slips down her pyjamas.  

According to the Body Shop, the ads hark back to the ethos of founder Anita Roddick, who founded the brand - now owned by Natura - in the 70s. 

Love Island fans claimed they were 'gobsmacked' by the clip with one questioning whether it would be acceptable to show a man in the same situation.  

After not getting any matches on a dating app, Fran is seen lighting candles, closing the curtains and jumping on to the bed

The business changed hands a year before the founder's death in 2007, and many criticised it for selling out.

It was bought by Brazilian company Natura - which also owns Avon and Aesop - in 2017 in a £880m deal.

UK marketing director Rhiannon Scarlett explained how the company was going back to its roots with the ads.

'We're re-finding our roots and our core, thinking back to Anita,' she said.

Viewers have been left shocked by new Body Shop advert showing woman pleasuring herself, which appeared during ad breaks for Love Island

Roddick opened the first shop in Brighton in the heart of the progressive 70s, simply to make a living for herself and her children because her husband travelled a lot for work.

She was one of the first to take the stance that cosmetics could be feminist.

And her most famous 1997 campaign was Ruby - a size 16 red-headed doll alongside the slogan 'There are three billion women who don't look like supermodels and only 8 who do.'

'At the time, it was a first of its kind,' Ms Scarlett said.

The new Body Shop Self Love Street campaign harks back to the brands roots in the '70s when founder Anita Roddick pushed the boundaries and did the unexpected 

In the footage, one woman is disappointed and not getting any matches on a dating app but decides to take matters into her own hands 

'There are three things from that campaign that reflect today. The Body Shop is always at the forefront. 

'We like to be there because Anita led by doing things before everyone else. 

'We'd like to say things that make people feel a bit uncomfortable because we're prepared to talk about things that others are thinking but not quite ready to say. And we believe more than ever that self-love is absolutely central.'

Last year the brand asked 22,000 people from 21 different countries how they rated their self-worth, happiness and wellbeing.

Fran is one of three housemates on Self Love Street, who is struggling with issues surrounding self-worth 

She is heard letting out a sigh as she jumps on the bed at the end of the advert, which finished with the slogan 'Rise up with self love' 

Unearthing a universal problem, the average score of the Ipsos Mori 'Self Love Index' was just 53 out of a total 100, which meant nearly half of people feel more self-doubt than self-love.

She added: 'We wanted to tell real stories that represented women.

'There are many types of self-love that are individual to that person. Masturbation actually helps with physical and mental well-being.'

But many viewers watching ITV2's Love Island were shocked by the subject matter.

One said: 'That body shop ad was not PG13.'

One added: 'I just realised that woman was fingering herself in the Body Shop ad.'

One said: 'Is the new Body Shop ad promoting masturbation or....? Ok. This is a bit risky.'

Viewers were left shocked by the ad, which features three housemates living on Self Love Street, all struggling with various issues around self-worth 

Another said: 'Has anyone see the new Body Shop Self Love ad? Have I got a dirty mind? Did I imagine …..??'

And another added: 'I'm all for normalising female masturbation but if there was a man w*****g in an ad for the body shop I'm sure everyone would kick off no…? Just baffled haha.'

Another said: 'Hold up what was that Body Shop ad about. Who's idea was that ……… the woman decides to play with her f**** at the end ???? Was it necessary? WTF.'

And a final viewer said: 'Am I hallucinating or was there just a Body Shop sex toy ad, sick of it #LoveIsland.'

The Body Shop has not responded to requests for comment.

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