I sent the press release and a collage image to them and this was the reply …
Dear Sir/Madam (not going to be the best start when I have a fancy email signature with my name on!!)
Thank you for your email concerning our use of Virtual Models on our website.
We are sorry to hear that our use of this technique has caused offence in any way.
This is a technique that is not new in itself; it is available within the industry today. It can be seen on various international websites. For our Shop Online we use a combination of real life models pictures, still life pictures and virtual mannequin pictures. The technique with virtual mannequins is also used in our Dressing Room online, so that customers can try different looks and outfits. For all other marketing and campaigns – outdoor, TV, print and other media, H&M will continue to use real life models.
The procedure for creating the online mannequins is as follows: The garments are photographed in various angles on a mannequin. The looks are then assembled in a computer program to show a garment, a look or a complete outfit. This is the same technique that our customers can use themselves in our Dressing room to see different looks or styles, and the technique can be found being used throughout the industry.
This is not to be seen as conveying a specific ideal or body type, but merely to show our garments. The heads we use for our virtual models are head models, which are well aware of how we are using them to show our items in Shop Online. For all other marketing and campaigns – outdoor, TV, print and other media, H&M will continue to use real life models.
It is regrettable if we have led anyone to believe that the virtual mannequins should be real bodies, which is incorrect and have never been our intention.
We will continue to discuss internally how we can be clearer about this in the information towards our customers.
Thank you for bringing your views to our attention and if you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.
H&M Customer Services
So what do you think??