An online gambling firm which branded the stars of ITV daytime show “pigs” has been slapped down by the ad watchdog despite its defence that it was not being derogatory to all women, just the presenters of the programme.
The promoted tweet for Fruity King Casino showed Janet Street Porter, Stacey Solomon, Katy Price and Co sporting bathing costumes in a “Dove-style positive body image”, and stated: “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. #LooseWomen18”.
Although the Advertising Standards Authority received only one complaint about the tweet, that is all it takes for the watchdog to launch an investigation, and it demanded to know what brand owner ProgressPlay thought it was playing at.
In its defence, the company apologised for an offence the tweet had caused but insisted it had been published by one of their licensees which operates the brand Fruity King Casino.
ProgressPlay obtained a response from the brand operator, who believed that the tweet was by no means derogatory towards women. The licensee argued that the image along with text was not derogatory towards women and that the link to them was meant to refer to the TV show, in which the women in the photo appeared in, as a low quality programme. Therefore, the text referred to the show and not to the women themselves, it said.
However, following complains it had pulled the tweet and had no plans to re-run it.
Twitter, meanwhile, stated its advertising policies prohibited promoted tweets which were low-quality, offensive or hateful and confirmed that a tweet of this nature would infringe its advertising policies. Quite how it got through the firm’s ad filters is another matter.
In its ruling the ASA said: “We considered that the image shown in the tweet would be understood by viewers as intending to portray a positive image of women’s bodies. However, we noted that the text ‘You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig’ was shown above the image. We considered that this was specifically targeted at the women shown in the image and, consequentially, ridiculed what it represented.”
Banning the ad from appearing again, the watchdog added: “We considered that the image along with the text was derogatory towards women and therefore concluded was likely to cause widespread offence.”
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