Sexually suggestive M&S bus advert banned

Wed, 7 Dec 2011

A provocative Marks and Spencer lingerie advert has been banned by the advertising watchdog following complaints that it was sexually suggestive and likely to be seen by children.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the advert, which appeared on buses in September, was “socially irresponsible”.

The ruling centred on a bus advert which showed two pictures of women in lingerie – one lying on her side and other kneeling on a bed.

Image

According to the ASA the image of the woman lying on her side was “only mildly sexual”.

“However”, it said, “we considered that the pose of the woman kneeling on the bed was overtly sexual”.

The advert attracted a number of complaints but M&S responded by saying it was part of a major campaign featuring both outerwear and lingerie images shot in a “filmic” and atmospheric style.

Ban

The company said it believed if the images were not suitable for use on buses this would have been picked up by an internal clearance process.

But the ASA ruled that the advert must not be shown in “untargeted outdoor media” again.

Last month a series of sexually provocative adverts for Lynx deodorant and shower gel were banned by the ASA following more than 100 complaints.

One provocative poster for shower gel showed a woman clutching her undone bikini top on a beach. It was accompanied by a caption, saying: “The cleaner you are the dirtier you get”.

Parents

In June a report on child sexualisation and commercialisation said parents should be supported as they attempt to combat child sexualisation.

Reg Bailey, the Chief Executive of Mothers’ Union who led the report, said: “I want to put the power back in parents’ hands so they can better manage the pressures on their children and make it easier for them to bring up their children the way they want.”

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