Complaints that a poster advertisement by UK soft drinks firm Britvic showing a rake protesting about the number of calories in the low-calorie soft drink Fruit Break was offensive has been thrown out by The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).

The ASA ruled against the complaint which claimed the advertisement was offensive because it mocked those suffering from eating disorders after Britvic said the campaign had been designed to challenge the outdated view of women's relationship with food and drink.

Headlined: "I can't drink it. Grapefruit piles on the pounds" the Britvic advertisement showed a rake sunbathing on a boat, wearing sunglasses and bikini bottoms. A book entitled "Hollywood Rakes" was lying open face down next to the rake and in the corner was an image of the drink along with the strapline: "Give Us A Break Only 30 Calories."

Believing that women were rejecting the media and fashion industries obsession with "skinniness" in favour of a more balanced attitude to calorie intake Britvic said the absurd exaggeration of the copy and the image used introduced an element of humour and scepticism about the emaciated figure of models and stars presented in the media. The company felt the average woman would share the humour and scepticism.

Noting the humorous approach and obvious exaggeration of the copy the ASA concluded that the advertisement was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.