A Dame to Whinge For…ASA dismisses complaints about a bus advert for Sin City 2

Posted: 8 November, 2014 in ASA Advert Censor
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Sin City Dame Kill Blu ray An ad, on the side of buses, for the film Sin City 2 . It featured images of some of the characters. The heads and shoulders of four men and two women were arranged either side of a full-length image of Jessica Alba wearing a bra, gloves and suspender-effect tights. Her mouth was partly open and she was kneeling with her knees spread apart and one arm raised over her head. Issue

The ASA received two complaints:

  1. one complainant objected that the ad was unsuitable for public display in an untargeted medium where it could be seen by children; and

  2. both complainants objected that the ad was offensive because it was overtly sexual, sexist and degrading to women.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted Lions Gate’s assertion that the ad would not cause offence because the images of the characters were unrealistic. However, we considered that although the depictions were somewhat stylised they were still clearly real images of actors portraying the characters and that an air of surrealism would be insufficient to dispel the potential for such images to cause harm or offence. Nonetheless, while we appreciated that some consumers might find the focus on Alba’s character and the pose used distasteful, we considered that the image was no more than mildly sexual in nature and not so suggestive as to be generally offensive or inappropriate for untargeted public display. We also considered that the image was clearly used in the context of promoting a film and that consumers would appreciate that it showed Alba’s portrayal of a specific character, thereby reflecting an aspect of her role in particular, rather than women in general, and that it was consequently unlikely to provoke serious or widespread offence by being regarded as sexist or degrading towards women.

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