Tunnock’s Tea Cakes may be a family favourite but an ad for the chocolate fancy has been found to be anything but after featuring a female tennis player rubbing the tea-time treat up her bare thigh under the strapline “Where do you keep yours?”
The Advertising Standards Authority launched an investigation into the ad, which was displayed near Glasgow’s SSE Hydro ahead of a showcase clash between Andy Murray and Roger Federer, after a complaint that it was sexist and objectified women.
In response, a slightly bemused Thomas Tunnock insisted that the poster was not designed to cause offence, claiming that it was “created with a tennis audience in mind” and that the tea cakes were simply used to “substitute the normal placement of tennis balls”.
However, the ASA regulator noted that the ad showed the woman’s bare thigh exposed and her underwear clearly visible, and while it was placed opposite an arena hosting a tennis match, it bore no relevance to the advertised product.
In its ruling, the watchdog stated: “We considered that although the image was only mildly sexual in nature, when combined with the phrase ‘serve up a treat’ it had the effect of objectifying women by using a woman’s physical features to draw attention to the ad.
“In light of those factors, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some consumers and was socially irresponsible.”
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