ASA bans sexually explicit ads

porn-2The Advertising Standards Authority has come down hard on two sexually explicit responsive ads – for Tease Me TV and Spearmint Rhino – following complaints that they were offensive.
A TV ad, for a premium rate phone service run by Tease Me TV, featured mock documentary footage titled “The Bare Tits Project”, in a parody of the film, the Blair Witch Project. On-screen text stated “In 2009 4 students went out to make a naughty documentary in Epping Forest … They never returned but the footage was found a year later…”
The ad showed three women, who were frequently topless, in a woodland setting. The women invited viewers call a premium rate number… “if you want to talk to some really naughty girls, call the number on the screen now”.
But one viewer, who saw the ad at 6.40am on Tease Me 2, challenged whether the nudity in the ad was offensive, particularly given the time of day at which it was broadcast.
Tease Me TV blamed an operator error, claiming it was not scheduled to air outside of the watershed. However, it pointed out that the ad was broadcast on a clearly signposted adult entertainment channel in the Adult Section of the Sky Electronic Programme Guide (EPG).
But the watchdog ruled the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form, unless it is shown on encrypted elements of adult entertainment channels.
Meanwhile a digital outdoor poster stated “Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club London. Back 2 School Party. Come see our Sexy Schoolgirl Staff & Entertainers”. The ad showed a woman dressed in a grey V-neck jumper, school tie and a white shirt.
Three complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and offensive because it sexualised teenage girls and linked them with sexually provocative behaviour.
Spearmint Rhino said the ad had been taken down two weeks before the ASA contacted the company, and claimed there were other ads displayed in telephone boxes which were much more sexually explicit.
The ASA considered that the image of a woman dressed in school uniform and the strapline appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour. It concluded was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, ruling it must not appear again in its current form.
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