ASA rips down ‘Get laid by the best’ plastic grass ad

artificial_grassAn artificial grass company has been spanked by the ad watchdog for a poster campaign featuring a half-naked woman wearing on a thong, prostrate over the plastic turf, under the headline “Get laid by the best”.

The poster, for Oldham firm Great Grass MCR also featured the line “ARTIFICIAL GRARSE EXPERTS”, triggered four complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority that it objectified and sexualised women and also challenged whether the ad was offensive, harmful and irresponsible.

In response, Great Grass MCR said it was noteworthy that there had only been four complaints when the ad had been seen by thousands of people; it therefore believed that most people were not offended by the ad but found it amusing.

The firm added that it believed the complaints were generated by people on social media encouraging others who likely had not even have seen the ad, to complain about it. Great Grass also peddled out the defence that to assume the person featured in the ad was a woman was wrong and offensive to the transgender community.

Media owner Vision Advertising, meanwhile, said that Great Grass had been using the slogan “Get laid by the best” on its marketing material for many years. It insisted the image of the person sunbathing on their new lawn was not offensive as that was something that most people would do.

It also said that identifying the person in the ad as a woman was debatable and a matter of opinion. Vision Advertising confirmed it had received no complaints.

But for the Advertising Standards Authority the ad was no laughing matter; it maintained that those who saw the ad would understand that it featured a woman who was dressed only in underwear and exposing her buttocks.

It noted that the large text which stated “ARTIFICIAL GRARSE EXPERTS” was a deliberate ploy to include the word “arse”. It considered that was likely to be understood by readers to be a reference to the model’s buttocks and had the effect of making that exposed part of her body the focus, thereby drawing attention to the ad.

The watchdog also took issue with the line “Get laid by the best”, which it considered would be understood by readers as a slang reference to sexual intercourse.

That text, together with the model’s pose and state of undress, was sexually suggestive and would be seen as presenting the model as a sexual object and in the context of the ad, in particular the references to “arse” and “get laid”, the model was portrayed as a sexual object, rather than someone who was sunbathing, the ASA ruled.

For those reasons, it concluded that the ad objectified and stereotyped women as sexual objects, was irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.

Banning the ad in its current form, the regulator warned the company that its marketing material should be socially responsible in the future and not cause serious or widespread offence.

In response to the ruling a Great Grass spokesman said the ad was “just a bit of fun”.

He added: “We didn’t intend to offend anyone, we just thought people would find it amusing. It is a very busy junction and the ad has been seen by thousands and thousands of people. The majority of comments I’ve seen on social media have been positive. With everything going on in the world we thought it would just give people a chuckle.”

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