A poster for Todd Insurance Broker featured a woman walking through an office, away from the camera. One side of the woman’s dress was tucked into her underwear. Text next to the image stated What are the odds? Further text stated Life’s full of little surprises. Make sure you’re covered for Home, Car, Travel and Business Insurance.
A complainant challenged whether the ad was:
- offensive because it degraded and objectified women; and
- irresponsible because it could be seen by children.
W Todd and Son Ltd did not believe that the poster was offensive or irresponsible. They said the poster was created by a female designer as part of a structured campaign that used the line, What are the odds? accompanied by an image of a recognisable mishap. They said the campaign was intended to be quirky and fun and took a light-hearted approach to thinking about insurance. They added that there was a male version of the poster planned for later in the campaign.
ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld
The ASA noted the complainant’s objections to the ad. We noted that the image in the ad showed the women’s dress tucked into her underwear and that her underwear, bottom and legs were visible. However, we did not consider that the image was sexually explicit. Neither did we consider the image, or the accompanying text, sexually suggestive. We considered that the image and the text What are the odds? was a play on a recognisable and embarrassing situation, but we did not consider that the approach used in the poster degraded women or was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. We considered that the ad was a light-hearted approach to thinking about the chances of little surprises happening in life. Because we did not consider the poster sexually explicit or suggestive, or degrading to women, we considered that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. We also considered that it was suitable to be shown on a poster site that could be seen by children. For these reasons we concluded that the poster had not breached the Code.
We investigated the poster under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.