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Unhealthy censorship...

ASA bans SportMax fashion advert claiming the model is too thin


Link Here6th May 2021

An ad for SportMax, a clothing retailer, seen in The Sunday Times Style magazine on 28 February 2021, featured a female model pictured from the side. The model was wearing a long sleeved ankle length black dress with boots. Issue

The complainants, who believed the model was unhealthily thin, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible.

Max Mara Fashion Group said they did not agree that the model was unhealthily thin or that the ad was irresponsible. They said the model was well known and chosen for her particular beauty and extraordinary aspect and that she featured regularly in fashion shows for many famous fashion houses. They said she took part in fashion shows in Paris where, since 2017, models who were unhealthily thin were not allowed on the runway.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA accepted that none of the model's flesh was visible. She was wearing a thin maxi length black dress which had long sleeves and she was posed in mid-step, looking down, with her arms hanging down by her side and her shoulder length hair partially obscuring her face. We noted that she was photographed from the side, which drew attention to the shape of her body and highlighted her very thin frame and the protrusion of her hip bone which was visible through the fabric. We also considered that the contrast of the ad's background lighting, which had a sepia tone, against the black dress, further accentuated the silhouette of her frame and the model's sombre facial expression and posture gave her a gaunt appearance. We therefore considered that she appeared unhealthily thin. For those reasons we considered that the model appeared underweight and therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible.

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

 

 

BabyBooHoo...

ASA cry babies get all easily offended by an advert for a sexy Halloween outfit


Link Here16th April 2021

A paid-for Instagram post by @babyboofashion, an online clothing retailer, seen in October 2020, depicted various shots of women wearing lingerie and angel wings or animal ears. A voiceover stated, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total [bleeped out slut] and no other girls can say anything about it. The hard-core girls just wear lingerie and some form of animal ears. The video ended with a black screen with BABYBOO. BABYBOOFASHION.COM in white writing and a voiceover stating, Babyboofashion.com.

A complainant, who believed the ad was sexist, objectifying, and gave a harmful message to young women, challenged whether it was offensive and irresponsible.

Babyboo did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA was concerned by Babyboo's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code. We reminded Babyboo of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

The ad depicted various models wearing lingerie and animal ears or angel wings. We considered the bright lighting and clothes rails in the background of some of the shots suggested the models were in the Babyboo shop and modelling the clothes. Although the models were shown in lingerie, we considered that most of the poses were not overly sexualised. However, in contrast, one shot depicted two models in lingerie and angel wings, kneeling on a bed with their legs apart. Both models looked at the camera seductively, while one of them twirled her hair and the other model moved her hands along her thighs. We considered that the shots of the models on the bed were suggestive, the poses were unnecessarily sexualised and had the effect of objectifying the women.

The accompanying voiceover stated, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total [bleeped out] and no other girls can say anything about it. We understood that the bleep censor was to obscure the word slut, but considered that it would be obvious to viewers what the obscured word was. The voiceover further stated that, The hard-core girls just wear lingerie and some form of animal ears. We understood that the voiceover quote was taken from a film. However, we considered it was presented out of context and was likely to be taken at face value.

We considered viewers were likely to understand from the ad that women who dressed and presented themselves in a similar way to the models shown were sluts. The term slut was a negative stereotype of women and was commonly used to refer to women who had or were perceived to have many sexual partners, in a derogatory way that passed judgment on those behaviours. We considered that the use of that word in the context of the ad was likely to be seen as demeaning to women. Further to that, the models were depicted in an objectifying way, accompanied by a message that this type of look and behaviour was aspirational -- for example, the reference to hard-core girls alongside images of girls in animal ears and lingerie implied that taking the idea to its extreme was to be admired.

While there was nothing inherently wrong with dressing in the way shown in the ad, or having multiple sexual partners, we considered that linking those things with the denigrating term slut, and implying women should aspire to being objectified, was problematic. Overall, we considered that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and included a gender stereotype in a way that was likely to cause harm. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and breached the Code.

The ad must not appear in its current form. We told Babyboo Fashion Pty Ltd to ensure their advertising was socially responsible and did not cause serious or widespread offence by objectifying women. We also told Babyboo Fashion Pty Ltd to ensure they did not present gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm in their future advertising.

 

 

Bamby H2O raps: 'Drugged up at the function slurring all my words!'...

And the advert censor gets all 'concerned' about the rapper's 'apparent disregard' for its censorship code!


Link Here 24th March 2021

A pre-roll ad on YouTube for rapper Bamby H2O's single, titled Over It , seen on 16 December 2020, featured an instrumental played over scenes of a powdery substance being cut with a razor, a rolled up cigarette being lit and a rolled up bank note being used to consume a powdery substance. The opening lyrics stated Fucked up over you and Drugged up at the function slurring all my words!. One scene included the outline of a woman pulling down her top to reveal her breasts. The ad included lyrics such as Shawty wanna fuck with me she gotta feed me first, Double D's I'm drowning in disbelief and You chase a bitch and repeated references to the consumption of drugs throughout.

The ad was seen before a synth wave music playlist.

A complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive and irresponsible because it featured references to drug use and paraphernalia, nudity and explicit language.

Bamby H2O did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA was concerned by Bamby H2O's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code. We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

The ad was for a full-length rap music video and was seen before an unrelated music playlist on YouTube. It featured a number of scenes depicting the consumption of illegal drugs, including a bottle of amphetamine tablets and a powder consumed through a rolled up bank note. We considered that the ad, which featured illegal drugs and drug-use was irresponsible for depicting the use of drugs in this context. The lyrics also referenced being drugged up and featured expletives such as the word fucking which was likely to seriously offend many people. The ad also featured the outline of a woman exposing her breasts which we considered was gratuitous and objectified women.

While the video was shot using visual effects, its content was graphic and explicit. Furthermore, we considered that viewers of an unrelated music playlist would not expect to be served an ad that featured drug references, nudity and strong language. We concluded that the ad was irresponsible and likely to cause serious and widespread offence and therefore breached the Code.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Bamby H2O to ensure that their ads did not cause serious or widespread offence, and to ensure their ads were not socially irresponsible.

 

 

When a distraction is construed as a harm...

Advert censor ludicrously bans a Ladbrokes advert showing a bettor being distracted by a race on TV


Link Here2nd February 2021

A VOD ad for Ladbrokes, seen on All4 on 25 October 2020, showed various people using the Ladbrokes app on their mobile phones. One scene showed a clip of a horse race, before showing a man in a cafe with several other people, looking away from them at something else in the distance, over the shoulder of one of them. A voice-over stated, Come starter's orders, I'm a bag of nerves. The man's leg was shaking, making the food and cutlery on the table shake. A woman said to him, Really?, capturing his attention briefly, before he turned away again.

A single complainant challenged whether the ad depicted gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible.

Ladbrokes did not believe the ad depicted socially irresponsible behaviour because the man was not shown placing a bet nor indeed talking about gambling. He was simply stating that he got nervous ahead of starter's orders which would be his natural reaction whether or not he was gambling. They said the ad featured people in everyday situations, and characters continuing with life in normal day-to-day activities.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The CAP Code stated that ads must not portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm. CAP's Advertising Guidance on Gambling advertising: responsibility and problem gambling made clear that ads which portrayed or otherwise referred to individuals displaying problem gambling behaviours or other behavioural indicators linked to problem gambling were likely to breach the Code.

Marketers should take care to avoid an implication of such behaviours, for instance, outwardly light-hearted or humorous approaches that could be regarded as portrayals of those behaviours. Behaviours associated with people displaying or at risk from problem gambling included detachment from surroundings and preoccupation with gambling.

We noted Clearcast's view that the ad implied the man was watching a race on television, and we agreed that based on the scene and the simultaneous voice-over referring to starter's orders, viewers were likely to interpret the ad as showing him watching the television as the race was about to begin. He was watching intently, and his shaking the table with his knee which, while clearly intended to be humorous, suggested he was preoccupied with the race while his food remained untouched. He was described as being a bag of nerves, which we considered viewers were likely to interpret was as a result of his having placed a bet on the race. It was clear that he was engrossed in the race to the extent that his companion had to point out his actions to bring his attention away from watching the television. We noted that, after responding to his companion, he appeared to turn away, though the shot was brief and he was looking down. We disagreed with Clearcast's view that the man was never disconnected from his companion, or from the room, and considered viewers would assume from his behaviour that he was preoccupied with the outcome of the race in relation to a bet he had placed. We also considered that the man was obviously detached from his surroundings as he watched.

For those reasons, we concluded that the ad depicted gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible, and therefore breached the Code.


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