Scenting Outrage…ASA dismisses whinges about a sexy poster advertising perfume

Posted: 29 April, 2015 in ASA Advert Censor
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cara delevingne black orchid advert A poster, which appeared on the corner of Brick Lane and Hanbury Street in London, featured model Cara Delevingne lying naked on her front, the side of her breast and buttocks visible. She was holding a bottle of Tom Ford Black Orchid perfume.

  1. One complainant challenged whether the ad was inappropriate for display where children could see it and where it was close to churches and mosques.

  2. Another complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive because they believed it was degrading and objectified women.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted the ad featured an image of Cara Delevigne in which she was clearly naked and lying on her side in water, with much of one of her breasts shown along with the profile of her buttocks. Despite her nudity we considered her pose was sensual and sexually suggestive but that it was not sexually explicit. We therefore considered that because the image was sexually suggestive, it should not have appeared within 100 m of a school. We understood the ad in question did not have a placement restriction but equally noted it had not been placed in a location within 100 m of a school and that a placement restriction was subsequently unnecessary in this instance.

We understood that because of its size and location on a busy urban street, the ad would be very noticeable to passersby and that attention would be drawn to the poster space regardless of its content and that in this case it may have been more noticeable because the model was clearly naked. However, we noted the ad did not appear within the immediate vicinity of a place of worship and that the area in question was a busy, diverse and popular area of London. We therefore considered the ad had not been placed inappropriately.

2. Not upheld

We noted the pose was sensual. Although the model was naked, we considered the image was not sexually explicit. We further noted the image was stylised and artistic and in-keeping with ads for beauty products such as perfumes where depictions of feminine beauty and the female body were commonly used. Whilst we understood some viewers may have found the image distasteful because of the nudity shown and implied, we considered the image itself was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence and that it did not degrade or objectify women.

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