Anytime Fitness campaign slammed

Beware of controversial ad campaigns, fitness business learns.

The Advertising Standards Board has ruled that a campaign to encourage attendance at Anytime Fitness gyms has breached the advertising industry’s ethics code.

Throughout January and February the gym chain was telling the nation to make this the year to beat excuses with the controversial phrase F*UCK UNFIT.

Complaints to the ASB centred around the campaign being accessible to, and inappropriate for, young children.

The ad campaign used posters, flyers and SMS texts to get across its message. Announcing the launch of what it described as an ‘emotive’ campaign, Anytime’s CEO, Arthur McColl, said “This is our biggest and bravest campaign to date…we want to get the nation talking and help our members achieve something extraordinary every day.”

In response to the latest ruling, McColl told Inside Franchise Business, “We are disappointed in the decision from the ASB, but are respectful of the ruling.  As the biggest fitness community in Australia, we are committed to inspiring a fitter and healthier nation, which is why we launched the campaign to promote our new 24/7 fitness app.

“The campaign ended on 11 February, so marketing materials have already been removed but our future marketing strategy will continue as planned.”