BBH New York ‘Defaced’ Those Protein World Ads

By Patrick Coffee 

world cup ready topProtein World is the MRA message board of the business world. The “expert brand trolls” who bench 250 in their spare time without breaking a sweat courted controversy in the U.K. with their 2014 “are you beach body ready” ads, which inspired plenty of graffiti, protests on the tube and a clever response from Carlsberg.

The ads were taken down but later ruled “not offensive” by a local watchdog org, and the Protein World dudes reveled in the media attention before bringing their campaign to New York, where subway riders may now be greeted by yet another Photoshopped, cellulite-free butt as they move through the turnstiles on the way to work.

BBH New York was less than amused.


Over the long weekend, “a team” from the agency descended upon the Union Square station and altered some of the ads in order to spread “a powerful message about female empowerment” and support the American Women’s World Cup team…which proceeded to demolish Japan in the Sunday final.

They even created a website bearing the tagline “Are You #WorldCupReady?

The hashtag didn’t QUITE take off, but the team did earn the attention of trade pubs and New Yorkers. And–despite the many rightly troubling “double standard” pieces regarding the sad state of women’s sports that ran during the World Cup–the U.S. won the championship and all attendant adoration from the press and public.

For the record, Protein World is still a crap company run by a bunch of douchebags selling a shit product. Just ask their favorite model.