A billboard advertising office space in Devon has 'offended' a few people in Exeter who whinged that the poster is sexist.
The advert, promoting space for rent at Matford Business Centre in Exeter, features a large chested woman in a bikini next to the slogan Size IS important .
Among those calling for the poster to be banned are members of Exeter Feminists. Group founder Ellis Taylor spouted:
The blatant objectification of women in this advert is completely unnecessary and it is disappointing to see an Exeter business supporting old fashioned ideas.
I don't think the business is aware of the damage a poster like this can cause, it reinforces the idea that women are objects purely for men and that it is okay to treat them in such a way.
The poster needs to be removed and the business needs to recognise the level of sexism and objectification which it is associating itself with.
The adverting company has received about 20 complaints and has been contacted by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which has received 5 complaints..
Matford's managing director, Harry Langley, explained that jokey adverts with images of women are effective:
We needed an effective way to advertise our office space. Looking at examples of adverts that have worked for other companies in the past, we saw that word play and images of women were the most successful.
We combined the two factors with the aim of creating a humorous and memorable way of promoting our facilities. We compared our advert with other images around at the moment and judged it was acceptable.
Two ads, on the American Apparel's website and Instagram page, for a skirt which was featured in their School Days or Back To School range:
a. The website ad on www.americanapparel.co.uk featured an image of a girl wearing the skirt, a top and white underwear, bending over to touch the ground, photographed from behind from a low angle. Her crotch and buttocks were visible.
b. The ad posted on the advertisers' UK Instagram page featured an image of a girl wearing the skirt and a top leaning into a car, photographed from behind from a low angle. Her buttocks were visible.
Two complainants challenged whether the ads were offensive and irresponsible, because they were overtly sexual and inappropriate for a skirt advertised as school-wear.
ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld
The ASA considered that the way in which the model was posed in both images, with her head and upper body obstructed in ad (a) by her legs, and cut off from the frame in ad (b), meant that the focus was on her buttocks and groin rather than on the skirt
being modelled. We considered the images were gratuitous and objectified women, and were therefore sexist and likely to cause serious and widespread offence. Furthermore, we considered the images imitated voyeuristic up-skirt shots which had been
taken without the subject's consent or knowledge which, in the context of an ad for a skirt marketed to young women, we considered had the potential to normalise a predatory sexual behaviour. We considered the ads had therefore not been prepared with a
sense of responsibility to consumers or to society.
Notwithstanding the above, we noted that, on American Apparel's website, the skirt was featured in its SCHOOL DAYS or BTS (which we understood to stand for Back To School') 'Lookbook , and that the image on Instagram had been
similarly referenced. We also noted it was not possible, from the images, to determine the age of the model because her face was not visible. We considered that, from the context in which the ads appeared, it was likely that those who viewed them would
understand that the model was, or was intended to appear to be, a schoolgirl. We considered the ads had the effect of inappropriately sexualising school-age girls and were therefore offensive and irresponsible for that reason too.
We noted American Apparel's view that, because consumers would be aware of their branding, they would expect to see such images when viewing their Instagram page or visiting their website. We considered, however, that the ads were irresponsible and
likely to cause serious and widespread offence irrespective of whether consumers had opted in to American Apparel's marketing communications, and particularly in the context of a clothing brand which had appeal to young people, including teenagers
under 16 years of age. We noted American Apparel had removed the images before we had contacted them, but were nonetheless concerned that the images had appeared in their advertising at all. We concluded the ads were in breach of the Code.
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told American Apparel (UK) Ltd to ensure their future advertising was prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society, and that it contained nothing that was likely to cause
serious or widespread offence.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is no stranger to childish behaviour. But with its latest decision to ban images from raunchy retailer American Apparel's Back to School campaign for inappropriately sexualising schoolgirls , the
over-zealous watchdog really has thrown its toys out of the pram.
Bus stop adverts for the new Hollywood comedy, Sex Tape, have attracted a few whinges in Kirkintilloch.
The poster, which features, lead star Cameron Diaz in her underwear, has been pasted across bus shelters in the town centre.
A few residents have complained of the supposed saturation of sexual imagery at bus stops.
Euan Hutchinson, a prude from Kirkintilloch, believes the advert sends a dangerous message to local youngsters. He spouted:
I don't think it's really appropriate for young children to be sat at a bus stop for 10-15 minutes with this kind of imagery for company.
I'm not a prude by any means. ..BUT... it's not right that it has been displayed for youngsters like that.
I drove down the main street in Kirkintilloch and the poster was on four consecutive bus stops. I haven't seen anything quite like that before; you can't escape it.
You just have to look at events in America now with so many people's lives ruined by this sort of thing.
But the film seems to be down-playing the seriousness and misery of it all buy making it look more like a harmless giggle.
Young people need to be a little more aware of the dangers of these things and not bombarded like this.
The Advertising Standards Authority say they have received 23 complaints about ads for the film, with many saying it is inappropriate for children . The ASA are currently reviewing the complaints before deciding on further action..
It's a sad day for Australian Duff Beer lovers - the popular drink is being pulled from our shelves.
Springfield's favourite beverage made it's way to Australia back in May but it's now been found to be in breach of the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code. The drinks censor said:
The association of The Simpsons with the product name and packaging is so strongly entrenched in Australian popular culture that the name and packaging will draw the attention of under 18 year olds. Measures to market the product without references to
The Simpsons characters or images cannot be effective to overcome the strong and evident appeal of the product material to underage persons.
Through its creation and subsequent promotion in The Simpsons, there is no doubt that Duff Beer is going to be attractive to children and young people.
A website for a betting service, www.betdaq.com, featured an image of the statue of Christ the Redeemer with the surrounding city of Rio de Janeiro visible behind. The statue had been digitally altered so that the figure's robe was purple, and the word
BETDAQ had been superimposed onto it. The image was headed WORLD CUP 2014 - BET WITH BETDAQ .
A complainant objected that the use of an image of Jesus Christ to promote gambling would be offensive to Christians.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA acknowledged that the statute of Christ the Redeemer was a well-known landmark for the city of Rio de Janeiro and was therefore likely to be understood as a reference to the city and the location of the 2014 World Cup, particularly as the city
was visible in the background of the image and the tournament was clearly referenced in the ad. However, we also understood that any image of Jesus was likely to hold religious connotations for believers, and that despite its secular use as a landmark
this was still the case for the statue in question. We noted that, although the figure was not seen taking an active part in gambling, it was emblazoned with the logo and colour scheme of a betting company and was featured in a prominent role in an ad
for a gambling service. We considered that this created an association between the figure of Christ and gambling and commercial activities. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some visitors to the website.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Ladbrokes to take care in future when using religious imagery.
An ad, for Paddy Power, seen in the Metro. It featured the text WHO'S THE BEST MASS DEBATER? CLEGG 6/4 FARAGE 1/2 ... and photographs of Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage with suggestive facial expressions.
Two complainants, who understood that the ad alluded to masturbation, challenged whether it was offensive.
ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld
The ASA noted the ad appeared in a newspaper aimed at an adult audience, in the context of two TV debates between the two politicians featured. Adult readers of the Metro were likely to recognise the ad as a reference to betting on the evening's
forthcoming debate and, although there were no explicit references to masturbation, they would understand the double meaning of the text and facial expressions.
We understood that the advertisers had intended to convey their service in a light-hearted way and considered that readers would regard the ad as an attempt at humour on the part of Paddy Power. We also considered that readers might not share the
advertisers' humour and find the ad to be disrespectful and in poor taste.
Marketing communications must not contain anything likely to cause serious or widespread offence. We acknowledged the complainants' views, and considered that many readers may have found the choice of text and images to be distasteful. Given the context
in which it appeared, however, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause offence to a serious or widespread degree.
A picture used as part of American Apparel's latest clothing range has attracted a few trivial whinges accusing the retailer of fuelling Lolita fantasies and rampant sexism for showing a model bending over in one of its mini-skirts.
The image in question was posted on their Instagram account and a similar one was posted on their website. The first featured a woman in a plaid green skirt leaning over a car window, with her underwear in view.
It was branded as horrifying and dangerous misogyny by a fewTwitter users and has since been removed from both its social media account.
Emilie, a blogger at anygirlfriday.com criticised the advert for reducing women down to little more than body parts to be claimed, and accused it of reinforcing idea that our primary purpose is to be appealing to men . She said:
The way in which American Apparel objectify and sexualise female bodies is damaging and rooted in patriarchal notions about a woman's worth.
A press ad for Sporting Index, seen in City AM and the Racing Post, featured an image of the Christ the Redeemer statue that had been digitally manipulated to show Jesus with his right arm around a bikini-clad woman, his hand resting just above
her bottom, and a bottle of champagne in his left hand. The statue's face had also been altered from a solemn expression to a smile. A large caption at the bottom of the image stated There's a more exciting side to Brazil and a roundel next to the
statue's head stated £ 500 IN FREE BETS* . Further text stated World Cup excitement guaranteed .
The ASA received 25 complaints about the ad:
All the complainants, including the Evangelical Alliance, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Many of the complainants mentioned the woman and the bottle of champagne in particular.
The ASA challenged whether the ad linked gambling with sexual success.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
The ASA acknowledged that the statue of Christ the Redeemer was likely to be strongly evocative of Brazil in general and Rio de Janeiro in particular, and that as a famous landmark it was often used to publicise these destinations. However, we noted
that, despite this secular use, it was still a depiction of Jesus and was likely to carry a large degree of religious significance for Christians in particular, and that care should therefore be taken over its use. We considered that general references
to the statue in order to highlight the location were unlikely to cause offence because it would be clear in what context the image was intended to be viewed. We also appreciated that the imagery was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek and light-hearted
reference to Rio de Janeiro's beach and Carnival culture. Nonetheless, we considered that a depiction of Jesus with his arm around a largely undressed woman, holding a champagne bottle and apparently celebrating a gambling win was likely to cause offence
to a significant number of Christians, regardless of this humorous intention or references to Rio de Janeiro and the World Cup, because it depicted the person of Jesus in a context at odds with commonly held beliefs about the nature of Christ. We
therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some readers.
The ASA acknowledged that the inclusion of an attractive person in an ad for gambling might not in itself automatically imply a link between gambling and sexual success, and understood Sporting Index's view that the woman was intended to represent the
culture of Rio de Janeiro. However, we considered that the ad strongly implied that the statue depicted a figure celebrating a gambling win and that the woman constituted part of this celebration. We noted that the figure's hand was placed just above the
woman's bottom and that she was turned partly towards him, and considered that this pose implied a degree of flirtatiousness and sexual contact regardless of whether the figures were presented in a cartoon-like manner. We understood that the woman's
attire was intended to be a reference to Brazilian beaches and therefore incidental to the message of the ad, but considered that this was not clear from the context of the ad and that the woman's clothing reinforced the implication of sexual contact
with the other figure. In light of these factors we concluded that the ad breached the Code by linking gambling with sexual success.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Sporting Index Ltd to ensure that future ads would not link gambling to sexual success or be likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy of the Evangelical Alliance, said:
We are grateful that the Advertising Standards Authority has upheld the Alliance's view on behalf of Christians everywhere.
This advertisement was in poor taste and clearly likely to cause offence. Even so, the expressions of incredulity from City AM and Sporting Index at the complaints illustrate a patent failure to grasp why such mockery and disfigurement of the person of
Christ should be deemed offensive at all.
Such religious illiteracy and lack of respect for faith communities in the UK is concerning.
South Africa's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a newspaper advert alluding to Oscar Pistorius being sent for psychiatric evaluation.
The advert, Oscar's Psychiatric Evaluation by Toast Media was placed in The Times newspaper on May 27.
A reader had complained about the advert which contained an image resembling a Rorschach ink-blot. Two handguns on either side as well as what appears to be a heart broken in two can be identified. Underneath the image ...for alternative creative
results is written with Toast Media's contact details.
The complainant claimed that the advert was offensive and presented a twisted mental image of Pistorius and what the psychiatric evaluation would reveal and that it was insensitive and offensive to Pistorius's family and friends.
ASA said it accepted Toast Media's argument that the information in the advert was in the public domain, but it did not negate the fact that the advert was capitalising on the tragedy for commercial gain :
It communicates as a matter of 'fact' that Oscar Pistorius is preoccupied with guns, which led to this tragedy, and in doing so is likely to be perceived as offensive against current public sensitivities.
A billboard poster for Nicofresh e-cigarettes, which appeared in various locations in Belfast, featured an elderly white woman sitting on a sofa alongside a young black man. The man had his arms around the woman and his eyes were closed, whilst the woman
held an electronic cigarette and was looking directly at the camera. Text alongside the image stated NO TOBACCO. NO TABOO .
Six complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive on the grounds of race, because it implied that an interracial relationship was socially unacceptable.
Four of the complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive on the grounds of age, because it implied that a relationship between an elderly woman and a younger man was socially unacceptable.
ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld
The ASA considered that consumers were likely to interpret the ad to mean that, contrary to the relationship depicted, to smoke e-cigarettes was not a taboo issue. We noted the pronounced age gap between the man and woman, the fact they were a couple,
and that the image was accompanied with the text NO TOBACCO. NO TABOO . We considered that consumers would believe that the ad was presenting a relationship between an older and younger individual, particularly an older woman and a younger man,
and a couple of different races, as something that was unusual or socially unacceptable. Because of that, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence on the grounds of race and age.
The ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Nicofresh Ltd to ensure their marketing communications did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence in future, and to take particular care to avoid causing
offence on the grounds of race or age.
Australia's Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has dismissed a complaint against an outdoor ad for controversial Ubisoft video game Watch Dogs which claimed it was intimidating and normalised guns.
The poster depicted the game's character Aiden Pierce standing in the street of Chicago wearing mask and holding a mobile phone in one hand and a gun in the other.
The complaint to the ASB said the ad was displayed on a bus shelter outside a high school, adding it prompted their own children to ask about guns:
Why is an R rated game advertised in bus shelters, particularly around schools? I can monitor and restrict where my children go in a store, what advertising they see on TV or what magazines they read, but public space advertising like this should
always be suitable for all audiences that see it.
In its ruling, the board noted that while the man is pointing a gun he does not look menacing and there is a clear association being made with the television series being promoted (sic) .
It was the board's view that most members of the community would be unlikely to interpret the image as a real life situation and while it was a billboard and could potentially be seen by children, the board considered that the image does
not portray explicit violence and was relevant to the advertised product.
The board ruled that the image is not so strong as to be inappropriate for general viewing , dismissing the complaint.
A TV advert for the 2014 Sydney Film Festival offended an easily offended viewer. The advert featured a series of short film clips is shown with a fake animated audience reacting to the clips. The complainant wrote:
Near the end of the advertisement, they show two horses having sex with a man on top of one of the horses and a bus going by with a whole heap of people showing their bums and pressing them to the windows of the bus. This advertisement should not
have been on at this hour because of those two clips. I often babysit my little cousins and they like the show Who's Line Is It Anyway and if that add had come on while they were watching it, there would be a lot of questions and it is
just simply not appropriate. If the ad had come on later at night (say 10:00 pm onwards) it would not be as much of a problem.
Sydney Film Festival organisers responded:
There are two short clips approximately 24 seconds into the commercial that are the subject of this complaint, each less than one second long: 1 - the first is of horse mounting another horse that is being ridden by a man 2 - the second is of a
group of men pressing their buttocks against a window of a bus as it drives past
The first clip is from the Icelandic feature film Of Horses and Men that is being played at Sydney Film Festival in June. The film was selected as the Icelandic entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. It has
won 16 awards at major international film festivals from Tokyo to Tallin. There is no genitalia visible in the clip, it is very brief in duration, and is less graphic than something you would see in most nature documentaries.
The second clip is from the Italian feature Film The Referee that is also being played at Sydney Film Festival in June. The brief clip is of a group of adult male soccer players letting off steam on the bus home from a match. It is not
sexual or sexualised in any way, shape or form, and it comes across as mere exuberant male horseplay.
Australia's Advertising Standards Board turned down the complaints:
The Board considered whether the advertisement was in breach of Section 2.4 of the Code:
Advertising or Marketing Communications shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience .
The Board noted that the scene showing the horses having sex was very fleeting. The Board noted that two horses having sex is a scenario that would likely be viewed in a documentary. The Board agreed that it was unusual to include a man still on
the back of a horse while the horse was engaged in a sexual encounter however based on the advertiser's response that the scene was taken from a film, the Board considered that it was not inappropriate in the context of a brief scene in a PG
The Board noted the scene with the bottoms against the bus windows and considered that this is not behaviour that would be encouraged or condoned by the Board. The Board considered however, that the type of behaviour shown would likely be
behaviour conducted by a sporting team or similar and that the use of this scene from a film, in the context of a brief scene in a PG rated advertisement was not inappropriate for the relevant audience.
Outdoor ads for escort company Mackenzies of Perth have fallen foul of Australia's advert censor over
the positioning of a feather boa between the woman's legs in one of the ads which the board ruled was exploitative and degrading .
The outdoor ads featured two different images of women in lingerie placed in upper windows of a building. In one of the images the woman is on all fours looking at the camera with her head titled to one side while the other is of a woman on her
back with her bottom raised and a feather boa between her legs.
A complaint to the Ad Standards Board (ASB) described the ads as pornography displayed so publicly on the major highway adding they could be seen by children and: I wholeheartedly object to the message of woman as sex objects.
In its decision the board noted that in order to be a breach of this section of the Code the image would need to use sexual appeal in a manner which is both exploitative and degrading and while some members of the community would
consider the use of a woman in lingerie to be exploitative it was the board's view that the image does have relevance to the product advertised and the pose of the first woman is not degrading.
However, in assessing the 2md image, the majority of the board considered the use of the feather boa between the woman's legs was clearly intended to draw the viewer's attention to this part of the woman's body in a manner which is both
exploitative and degrading . Consequently, the board ruled the ad did employ sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative and degrading , upholding the complaint.
A video ad, on Jaguar Land Rover Ltd's YouTube channel, titled The Art of Villainy was presented as part of Jaguar's GoodToBeBad ad campaign. The ad featured actor Tom Hiddleston playing a suave villain and his character talked about
the factors that made a good villain. The ad featured the character driving a Jaguar F-Type in an underground car park and on a public road.
The complainant, who believed the ad featured and encouraged unsafe driving, challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible.
ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld
The ASA considered the ad focused on the appearance of the car and how its style mirrored that of the character being played by Tom Hiddleston who was clearly presented as a sophisticated and cultured villain who was matched by the sophistication
of the car in both its appearance and performance. We therefore considered that although the ad featured direct and implied references to speed, it was not the primary focus.
However, acceleration and speed did feature in the ad when the car was shown driving up the ramp to exit the underground car park and when it was shown being driven on a public road at night. The noise of acceleration and the speed with which the
car went up the ramp in the car park appeared to suggest significant speed within an enclosed environment. We also considered significant speed was suggested when the car accelerated on the public road after the character said Now brace
yourselves and again when the car exited a tunnel and sped away from other cars on the road. Whilst on-screen text stated Professional driver. Closed course. Always obey speed limits , we considered the overall impression consumers
would take from those scenes was of a car being driven on a public road (with other cars present) at speed and that the on-screen text would not negate that impression. Whilst we acknowledged the sequences were brief, we considered that the second
part of the ad suggested that the car was being driven at excessive speeds and that the ad therefore encouraged irresponsible driving.
The ad breached CAP Code rules 4.4 (Harm and offence), 19.2 and 19.3 (Motoring).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Jaguar Land Rover Ltd not to portray speed or driving behaviour that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly in future.
Wicked Campervans have continued to have continued to have fun with their slogans and 'outrageous' artwork, after being pulled up by miserablists in Australia.
The company came into the limelight earlier this week when a Sydney woman Paula Orbea launched an online petition with change.org, asking the founder John Webb to eliminate misogynistic and degrading slogans and imagery from their vehicles.
She was particularly wound up by a Wicked Campervan decorated with the phrase:
In every princess, there's a little slut who wants to try it just once.
And another fine example:
A wife: An attachment you screw on the bed to get the housework done.
In an interview with SBS , Leanne Webb from Wicked Campers, formerly known as Liam, feigned surprise when asked about the company's slogans.
Controversial? Really? I mean, I don't know - we don't try to be controversial. We never try to be controversial, it's not our goal. We just do what we love and we try to have fun. We poke fun at everything more broadly, it's never specifically
targeted at anyone in particular at all.
The budget hire company, which has depots around the world, said they were not phased at the bad publicity, despite the online petition currently having over 100,000 signatures.
A litany of complaints have been lodged with the Advertising Standards Bureau against Wicked Campervans for its use of advertising slogans. But the advert censor has already had several whinges against the company but has few powers to try and
enforce repeated bans.
A litany of complaints have been leveled with the Advertising Standards Bureau against Wicked Campervans for its use of advertising slogans
The Australian Senate has unanimously passed a Greens' motion condemning the supposedly sexist, misogynistic and racist slogans that Wicked
Campervans have on their hire vans. Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens spokesperson for women, said:
The Senate is sending a strong message that promoting violence against women is completely unacceptable in Australian society.
I'm pleased to hear that Wicked Campers have said they will remove the specific slogan that sparked on online petition signed by more than 120 000 people, and have committed to remove more of what they describe as insensitive slogans in coming
I wholeheartedly congratulate and thank Paula Orbea, who started the petition after her 11-year-old daughter read the slogan which incited sexual violence against women and girls.
Earlier in the day Wicked Campervans issued an apology and committed to reviewing and the slogans that caused a fracas from all vans in the next six months.
Paula Orbea, the Sydney school teacher who started the 110,000-strong change.org petition against Wicked Campers claims it's a stunning people-power victory against sexism, with the result coming just four days after starting the petition.
In an email from Wicked Campervans received by Paula, she says they've offered a personal apology, have now removed the sexist slogan Paula's daughter saw, committed to reviewing and removing insensitive slogans from all vans in the next six
months. The statement reads:
Wicked Campers Owner, John Webb wishes to acknowledge the prevailing community opinion by REMOVING the slogan in question and making a commitment over the coming six months to changing slogans of an insensitive nature.