Profile: Jeremy Gilley

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Debenhams campaign featuring older women reflects real women

Debenhams is launching an ad campaign starring older women, as part of its ongoing push to make its advertising reflect the diversity of its shoppers.

The department store group says it is the UK’s “only retailer to commit to reflecting its diverse customer base through representative imagery”.

The activity follows Debenhams’ advertising campaigns featuring a disabled model, six 16 and plus size mannequins and its decision to ban airbrushing in all its advertising collateral.

The retailer says ’The Style List’ campaign features models in their 40s, 50s and 60s as high street advertising and fashion imagery in magazines and stores is “dominated by models under 25” which neglects older women with big spending power.

The in-store, online and advertising campaign will give ongoing advice and guidance to women over 40 to achieve high fashion looks

Michael Sharp, Debenhams deputy chief executive, says: “This group of women aren’t communicated to by the fashion press and retailers with models of their own age. We wanted to be the first to put this right.”

’The Style List’ campaign is a joint venture with fashion commentator and diversity campaigner Caryn Franklin who says Debenhams is the only retailer “ready to change things” and that its strategy to reflect real women in its advertising is “a business savvy move”.

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