Slimming company defends its controversial ad

The slimming company that stirred public debate with its controversial weight-loss commercial said on Wednesday that their advertisement was not discriminatory and did not “breach any law”.

In an email response to queries from Yahoo! Singapore, London Weight Management said “we have not breached any regulation in accordance to the local regulation”.

The ad, depicting an overweight woman’s life in a downward spiral before she loses 20kg and finds happiness, has come under fire recently. It also saw TV host Anita Kapoor writing a scathing letter to the company on her blog on 23 September saying it was degrading to women.

Others have complained that the ad, shown on TV and online, was discriminatory of overweight women and was produced in poor taste, with some men even saying that it insulted them because the ad implied men couldn't see past women's looks.

The company’s marketing and communications manager Hazel Tang stressed that the ad was “based on real life stories and experiences provided by our customer to be reproduced into film/draw and/or video clips”.

"We have adopted 100% of her (the customer’s) real life stories with regard to the TV ads," she said, highlighting that the slimmer woman shown in the commercial is the company’s actual customer, Kelly Phoon, whose life story they were depicting.

The company added that Phoon is not local singer, Kelly Poon, who has a similar name.

“We wish to remind you that we are neither discriminating nor nauseating the obese women in this territory,” said Tang.

The video, which was uploaded on Youtube on 23 August, has since been removed.