Canadian Magazine Industry News
16 February 2010,     TORONTO
NEDIC advertisement urges women to toss fashion magazines
Visitors to Toronto’s Queen St. West have been greeted by a different sort of billboard recently — one that urges passersby to deposit fashion magazines into the ad itself.

The campaign was organized by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre in partnership with Toronto-based communication agency Zulu Alpha Kilo. NEDIC director Merryl Bear says the ad aims to bring attention to the negative influence fashion magazines have on self-image.
NEDIC's fashion magazine drop-box advertisement
NEDIC's fashion magazine drop-box advertisement

Reaction to the campaign has been positive, says Bear. “Our website comment section is full of positive reaction,” she says. “The public are desperate for change and are fully supporting the initiative.”

Also supporting the campaign is Fashion acting editor in chief Bernadette Morra. “I think it’s brilliant,” she says. “I think it is very clever and in tune with where women’s heads are at right now.”

Morra, who has been in the fashion journalism business for more than 25 years says the complaints about models are nothing new, but is getting worse. “It is the designers that are promoting this image,” she says. “We at Fashion try our hardest to balance the reality and the fantasy. Especially in the images that we can control, we can’t control the models that designers choose to hire. We try to show images that aren’t going to be as off-putting as an emaciated 14-year-old on the runway. We show fashion icons, women of all shapes and sizes.”

Major industry players need to step up and complain in order for changes to be made, says Morra. She cites British Vogue editor in chief Alexandra Shulman, who sent a letter to top fashion houses in Europe and the U.S. chastising them for using underage, unrealistically thin models. “I think it would take an Anna Wintour who has so much power to say this has got to change,” she says.


— Val Maloney
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