Attention, cereal dieters: Healthy breakfast brand Special K uses 'plus-sized real women' in its adverts for the first time
19:01 GMT, 14 June 2012
Special K cereal is using plus-sized 'real women' in its advertising for the first time in place of its super-slim, red outfit-wearing models.
The brand, which markets itself as a healthy choice that can help with weightloss, claims the move will encourage a more positive attitude to bigger body sizes.
The 'K girl' in a red swimsuit is absent from the cereal brand’s latest television advert and has been replaced with a group of women with a body mass index of up to 29.
Makeover: Special K is using plus-sized models, right, in its latest campaign to encourage a positive attitude towards different shapes and sizes
Berry thin: How the 'K girl' models used in the brand's advertising used to look
A body with a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is classed as healthy while 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
The Special K diet – which involves eating the cereal for breakfast and lunch, followed by a healthy dinner – has been advocated by celebrities who have managed to lose weight.
Kerry Katona credited the eating plan with having helped her lose three stone after she gave birth in 2008.
A Special K spokeswoman said the new campaign was designed to encourage women to think about the positives of losing weight other than focusing on what they would look like or what size they would become.
She said: 'We want to encourage a responsible attitude when it comes to body image and to show that losing weight isn’t just about the way you look or a certain size you need to conform to, but more importantly about the way it makes you feel.
'The fact that we are using real women for the first time of a variety of shapes and sizes is the perfect way to encourage women to think differently about losing weight and not just focus on the numbers on the bathroom scales.
'The Special K girl will still be used in other advertising as she is a long-standing icon of our brand but we still insist she has a BMI of at least 21, as we only want to use healthy body images.'
Not finished yet: The cereal brand said the 'iconic' Special K model would remain part of their other advertising
Slimline: Special K adverts have featured uniformly thin celebrities including Monica Cruz
The new campaign – called 'What will you gain when you lose' – shows the women stepping on a giant set of scales in London’s Covent Garden, but instead of their weight flashing up, a word such as 'amazing' appears instead.
Katie McNeil features in the new campaign after scouts spotted her while she was out shopping.
The mother of two, of Camberley, Surrey, who says she has a BMI of 29, said: 'It was really exciting to be asked to feature in this latest Special K ad, especially as it was totally unexpected as I was out shopping.
'I think it’s really inspiring to see more realistic women and body sizes instead of size eight models all the time in advertising, which is why I was delighted to take part.
'Losing weight for me is about feeling great whatever size or weight I am and this campaign sums that up perfectly.'