A magazine ad for Baitcraft fish bait seen in Carp World magazine on 4 March 2016. The ad featured the body of a woman lying on her side wearing a bra and stockings, with her thigh and torso exposed. The woman appeared to be removing her underwear, with her right hand placed on her thigh, and her thumb between her underwear and skin.
A complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive, because the image was demeaning to women, and bore no relationship to the product advertised.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA noted that the ad focused on the physical features of a woman who was wearing lingerie and whose head was not visible. The image bore no relevance to the advertised product and was accompanied by text that stated it’s never looked so good . We considered readers would understand that the woman was being referred to as the it in that sentence and that they would consider the text, in conjunction with the image, presented an objectified view of, and was therefore demeaning to, women. Although we acknowledged that similar ads had previously appeared in Carp World, we considered readers of a fishing magazine would generally not expect to see ads that objectified or were otherwise demeaning to women. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some readers.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Signature Creative Solutions Ltd to ensure that future ads did not portray women in a manner that objectified them and which was likely to cause serious offence.