A poster for Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club, which was displayed on the side of a van driven around South London, featured a photograph of a naked woman lying on her side with her back to the camera, and two fully clothed men standing in front of her and looking at her. Text stated THE BEST VIEW IN CROYDON . Issue
The ASA received three complaints.
All of the complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive, sexist and degrading to women.
Two of the complainants, who reported seeing the ad in Wimbledon Village on a Saturday and on Clapham High Street and Putney Bridge on consecutive Sundays, challenged whether the ad was unsuitable for public display where it could be seen by children.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
1. & 2. Upheld
The ASA considered that, while the ad only showed the back of the woman, it was clear that she was lying on her side, naked, facing the two men who stood in front of her. While we acknowledged that the ad did not include any explicit nudity and the woman’s pose was not overtly sexual, it was clear from the men’s lines of sight that one was staring at her breasts, while the other was staring at her crotch, and we considered that the overall impression of the image was that it was sexual in tone. When accompanied with the claim The best view in Croydon , we considered the image presented the woman merely as a sexual object to be enjoyed at the whim of the club’s clientele. While we acknowledged that the image was relevant to the nature of the club being advertised, we considered that it was likely to be seen as objectifying, and therefore demeaning to, women. Because of that, we concluded that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, and was unsuitable for public display, particularly where it could be seen by children.