An online ad for a nightclub, which showed a young woman “eyeballing” alcohol, has been banned after the ad watchdog branded the image “sexually gratuitous and provocative” adding that it “mimicked the style of facial pornography”.
The Facebook ad for Lola Lo nightclubs – which has venues in Bristol, Cambridge, Manchester, Reading and Derby – promoted its Coco Beach Mondays student night and showed a woman with her head tilted back and her mouth wide open, with her tongue sticking out and liquid being dropped in her eye.
It stated: “Free bubbly & VIP for groups – discounted drinks and big tunes all night.” An invitation to the student night featured the same photo with the text “Nice artwork * haha leaving to the imagination whats [sic] out of shot!”.
The Advertising Standards Authority received two complaints, both of which said the ads were offensive and were sexually explicit and objectified women. The ASA itself challenged where the ad linked alcohol with sexual activity and showed booze being served irresponsibly.
Management at the club did not reply to the ASA inquiry.
Nevertheless, the regulator banned the ads for being irresponsible, offensive and objectifying women – and for recommending the dangerous consumption of alcohol through “eyeballing”.
The ASA ruling stated: “The ads demonstrated alcohol being administered through the eyeball, known as eyeballing. This method of alcohol consumption has associated health risks.
“We considered that the way the model was posed with her head titled back, her mouth wide open with her tongue extended out and the liquid being poured out of shot, meant that the image was inherently sexual in nature.
“We considered that although the exact type of liquid being poured in to the models eye was not revealed in the image, it was heavily implied to be alcohol but also mimicked the style of facial pornography.
“We therefore considered that because the image used in the ads was inherently sexual in nature and the text promoted free alcohol at the event, that it linked alcohol with sexual activity and therefore breached the code.”
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