A cinema ad, for Britvic Club Orange drink, opened with a woman walking across an orange grove carrying a bottle of orange drink. Her cleavage was exposed and she said Do you like my bits? Of course you do. Come, let me show them to you . She pushed open a door labelled Club Orange and said Welcome to Club Orange . She walked through a laboratory-style room, where many women wearing short, white, open-fronted dresses, or bikini-type outfits, worked. She spoke to one: Mmm, nice bits , who replied Thanks, I squeezed them myself this morning . A row of women held a pair of oranges in front of their bodies as the main character said We love bits, all bits, as long as they’re juicy and natural … We are not only interested in the size of the bits, don’t be shallow … what is important is what’s inside too – like juice. At this point, she dipped her finger into an orange half and licked it. A scene outside in the orange grove featured two women carrying wooden crates containing oranges, again with their cleavage exposed. The main character said And now we say goodbye. We know you boys can’t wait to get your hands on our bits .
1. One complainant, who saw the ad before a 9.30pm screening of Prometheus (rated 15), challenged whether it was offensive and irresponsible, because it was sexist, objectified women and reinforced chauvinistic stereotypes to impressionable young people of how women should portray themselves.
2. A second complainant, who saw the ad before a screening of a Batman film (rated 12A), challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and inappropriate for children.
Britvic Ireland Ltd (Britvic) responded that this ad was part of a broader marketing campaign designed to make the Club Orange soft drink more appealing to its core target audience of 18- to 30-year-old men. Britvic acknowledged that the ad might not have been to everyone’s taste but stressed that they had targeted it carefully and did not believe it was either socially irresponsible or likely to cause widespread harm or offence.
The Cinema Advertising Association (CAA) responded that they had considered the ad in view of the CAP Code and approved it for screening before films carrying a 15 or 18 rating in the UK. The CAA acknowledged the apparent sexism of the ad, but considered that this was exaggerated to such an extent that it would not be taken seriously.
The CAA also noted that the advert had been awarded a 12A certificate by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). They explained that the normal course of action when the restrictions imposed on an ad by the CAA and BBFC differed was to adhere to the stricter judgement. They said in this case the screening of the ad had been affected by a systems change whereby the CAA restriction had not been carried over.
1. Not upheld
The ASA acknowledged that the ad featured a lot of women in bikinis or short dresses inviting men to contemplate their bits and that therefore in some respects the ad did reflect sexist attitudes. However, we considered that it was clear the scenario was fantastical in nature, because of the setting and context, and that it would not encourage young women to conform to the stereotype it portrayed. Whilst we accepted that some people might interpret it as objectifying women and that it would not appeal to all tastes, we considered that the average viewer would recognise the ad as an over-the-top satirical spoof and that therefore it was not likely to cause serious or widespread offence to audiences aged 15 or over.
On that point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.
We understood that due to a systems failure the ad had been screened before the 12A-rated film The Dark Knight Rises. We considered that the ad was not suitable for younger audiences who might be less able to identify its satirical intent. Because the ad contained imagery and dialogue of an adult nature but had been shown before a film carrying a 12A rating, we concluded that it was irresponsible and inappropriate for children.
On that point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 5.1 (Children).