A raunchy ad for Femfresh shaving products, which featured close-up shots of bikini-clad women bending, thrusting and cavorting onscreen, has been banned for objectifying women.
The video-on-demand ad, which aired on ITV Player and 4oD in March and April, featured several women wearing briefs and swimwear while dancing.
But many viewers were left unimpressed, with the Advertising Standards Authority receiving 17 complaints that the ad objectified women and portrayed them in an overly sexualised way, and was therefore offensive and socially irresponsible.
In its defence, brand owner Church & Dwight UK said the ad was aimed at a target audience of women aged 18 to 34, and claimed the dance sequence had been choreographed by a female choreographer, It insisted moves were regularly performed during warm-ups, yoga, Pilates and other forms of exercise.
The company, which uses the strapline “expert care for down there”, claimed close-ups were used to illustrate that the product could give consumers a smooth bikini line.
But the ASA said: “Even taking into account the nature of the product, we considered that it had been presented in an overly sexualised way that objectified women.
“We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and therefore breached the code.”
It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, adding: “We told Church & Dwight not to use advertising that objectified women and which was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to promote their products.”
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