An Amazon retailer has fallen foul of the ad watchdog over a listing for a ‘sexy schoolgirl’ outfit which has been banned for sexualising someone who appeared underage.
The ad featured a young-looking female posing in seven “revealing” photos – one showed the model kneeling barefoot on a sofa and biting her finger alongside the caption “Sexy Appeal”.
The item, entitled ‘Olanstar School Girl Costume Halloween Cosplay Uniform Classic Pleated Mini Skirt with Bow-knot’, had a sub-heading which read ‘see more on the Sex and Sensuality store’.
The description of the item stated: “Pure student dress up, this sexy schoolgirl outfit lights your passion at night, inspires both infinite imagination of youth.”
One complainant challenged whether the ad breached the code by portraying someone who appeared to be under 18 years of age in a sexual way. But when contacted by the Advertising Standards Authority, Olanstar, failed to respond.
An ASA spokesman said: “We were concerned by Olanstar’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code. We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.”
In its ruling, the watchdog said that all of the photos in the ad were to some extent sexual in nature. In particular, one photo, in which the model was photographed from above while she was lying down with her legs crossed from right to left, revealed her bare inner thigh.
The ASA said: “All other photos showed the model either on her knees or bent over which we considered drew attention to her body in a sexually suggestive manner. The advertiser had not responded to the complaint and we therefore did not have any information about whether the model was aged 18 years or over.
“However, we considered that the model seemed petite, with smooth skin and very little make-up which made her appear to be under the age of 18.
“For those reasons we considered that the ad depicted a person who appeared to be under the age of 18 in a sexual way and was therefore in breach of the Code.”
Banning the ad, the regulator warned Olanstar to ensure future ads did not include images that portrayed or represented anyone who was, or seemed to be, under 18 in a sexual manner.
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