Fun Loving Daily Star Brightens up Miserable Britain…Whilst offensive censor objects ban competition to win meeting with Page 3 girls

Posted: 28 March, 2015 in ASA Advert Censor
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win a date page 3 advert An ad for a competition on the Daily Star’s website and in the newspaper:

a. The website ad, headed Win a date with a Daily Star Page 3 babe! It’s a cold miserable winter out there – but as ever your fun-loving Daily Star knows just how to brighten up your lives . The ad featured three photographs, including one photograph showing three women from the waist up, wearing bras and holding champagne flutes, and another photograph showing three women wearing burlesque-style knickers standing close together with their hands on each others’ shoulders and waists, their breasts partially covered by their arms. The photographs were captioned WIN: Enter the competition to have a chance of spending a day with a page 3 babe! , DATE: The girls are desperate to meet you! and IRRESISTABLE: Who could turn down the chance to meet one of our babes?! .

b. The newspaper ad featured, on the front page, an image of two women in bikinis under the heading WIN a chance to meet our fab Page 3 girls . On page 3, underneath an image of three women wearing only bikini bottoms, the same text as in ad (a) was headed SPEND A DAY WITH A P3 BABE .

The ASA received 31 complaints, including one from the campaign group Object. Thirty complaints were from members of the public, many of whom had become aware of the promotion through social media.

The complainants, who believed that to offer a date with a page-3 girl as a prize was sexist and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was offensive and socially irresponsible.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA noted the demographic information about the Daily Star’s readership and website users, and that the image of three topless women in ad (b) appeared on page 3 of the paper, where similar images routinely appeared. We noted the Daily Star’s view that the models were promoted as individuals and were seen as celebrities by some of their readers. We acknowledged that it was not unusual for competition prizes to involve meeting, or having a date , with a celebrity.

We noted the ads referred to the Star Babes as a sizzling prize , and suggested that their visit to the winner’s workplace would bring the approval of their colleagues for bagging them this prize and would invoke jealousy in their friends. In the context of a competition in which the prize involved a visit from page 3 glamour models, a job which was based on a woman’s attractiveness and in which women posed nude or semi-nude and which therefore inherently involved the objectification of their bodies, we considered the implication was that the prize would be enjoyed or envied on the basis of the women’s attractiveness rather than because of their personality or other non-physical qualities. We also noted that the competition prize was described as involving a visit from one of our babes! and two of our top Page 3 girls rather than from specific individuals. We considered the implication was therefore that it did not matter which individual models would be visiting the winner and that the women were presented as interchangeable. In that context, whilst we noted the ads were targeted at Daily Star readers and website users, many of whom would likely have no objection to page 3 itself, we considered it likely that some would nonetheless find the notion of offering women as a prize to be sexist, offensive and socially irresponsible.

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told the Daily Star to ensure that their future advertising contained nothing that was socially irresponsible or likely to cause serious or widespread offence.


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