Online retailer Wish.com has been spanked by the ad watchdog over a series of digital ads which promoted sex products – including a woman on all fours in a rear-zip catsuit and a penis enlarger – side by side with ads for a child’s carrying seat.
The ads for the website, which runs under the strapline “Shopping made fun”, appeared to be making a joke of the featured products, as it also showed a baby with its bum exposed.
But three complainants failed to see the funny side of the campaign and argued that the ads were “offensive and irresponsible” because they presented sexualised imagery alongside an image of a baby.
When contacted by the Advertising Standards Authority, Wish.com owner ContextLogic Inc failed to respond, earning its first rebuke.
In its ruling, the ASA noted: “The image of the baby’s bottom being exposed through ripped shorts – common in all three ads – appeared to draw attention to it for no reason that was relevant to the product and in a way that we considered was likely to be seen as irresponsible and offensive by many readers. We also understood that the ad was untargeted.
“We considered that to show the shot of the baby’s bottom alongside the images of the woman pulling down the zip of the catsuit to expose the top of her bottom and of her on all fours while exposing her bottom through the slit was likely to be seen as particularly irresponsible and offensive.
“We considered that to show the shot of the baby’s bottom adjacent to the imagery promoting the product which was claimed to have the effect of making the penis appear larger, was [also] likely to be seen as particularly irresponsible and offensive.
Banning the ads on the grounds of harm and offence, the ASA ruled that the ads must not appear again in the same form, and told Wish “not to feature children in ways that were likely to be seen as irresponsible or offensive”.
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