ASA are starting to uphold complaints on ads where women are objectified

(47 Posts)
forkful Mon 05-Dec-11 21:20:33

M&S ad banned.

I am having a look on the ASA website for the actual adjudication.

In the meantime I've found one for Lynx.

The ASA said "We noted that the poster featured a woman standing under a beach shower wearing bikini bottoms and holding a bikini top against her breasts. While we considered that the poster was not graphic or indecent we noted that the woman’s bikini top was undone and that the ad also included the statement “THE CLEANER YOU ARE THE DIRTIER YOU GET”. We considered that that statement, particularly placed next to a picture of a woman with an unfastened bikini top and reinforced by the statement “GET DIRTY THIS SUMMER” at the bottom of the poster, was clearly intended to imply that using the advertised product would lead to more uninhibited sexual behaviour. We therefore considered that the poster would be seen to make a link between purchasing the product and sex with women and in so doing would be seen to objectify women."

Now is the time to hit the ASA with other adverts which you think objectify women.

<wonder if they've had some women join the panel?>

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ElderberrySyrup Mon 05-Dec-11 21:24:08

That is amazing!
Progress, yay!

They used to be very quick to uphold complaints where there were sexually aggressive women and men in passive positions, while completely ignoring hundreds of complaints when it was the other way round. Definite double standard.

AyeSmagic Mon 05-Dec-11 21:24:41


I'm quite (pleasantly) stunned by that. Are they listening at last?

forkful Mon 05-Dec-11 21:26:24

M&S adjudication

Only 15 complaints in total! I think they only have to have 1 complaint to investigate.

However, we considered that the pose of the woman kneeling on the bed was overtly sexual, as her legs were wide apart, her back arched and one arm above her head with the other touching her thigh. We also noted that the woman in this image wore stockings. We considered that the image was of an overtly sexual nature and was therefore unsuitable for untargeted outdoor display, as it was likely to be seen by children. We concluded that the ad was socially irresponsible.

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ElderberrySyrup Mon 05-Dec-11 21:29:26

Guardian is linking it to pressure from David Cameron and the Bailey Review - there is a mention of a summit including senior executives from Mumsnet, among others....

forkful Mon 05-Dec-11 21:29:31

I'm hoping that it is a positive side effect of the Bailey Review.

I suspect that complaints are better if they mention children.
(Good to know from an activism point of view but sad that the impact on women is not enough - i.e. I think some of these ads are deemed ok if not in places children are likely to see them - and deemed not ok if you can show that lots of children are likely to see them).

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Prolesworth Mon 05-Dec-11 21:32:27

Well this is good news. Weren't Object involved in that govt consultation too?


ElderberrySyrup Mon 05-Dec-11 21:35:20

At least there's an admission that these images are sexual. Previously the ASA would have sat around saying 'We don't think the fact that she's wearing stockings has anything to do with sex, women wear stockings in all sorts of situations, and we read the fact that her skirt was rucked up as just meaning she was a bit hot.'

forkful Mon 05-Dec-11 21:37:49

Lynx again

"We considered that the image of Lucy Pinder leaning over the oven door in her underwear was provocative. Whilst we noted that the second image of Ms Pinder wearing her underwear and a short shirt was less suggestive, we considered that, alongside the text "Can she make you lose control?", the ad was likely to be seen as objectifying women and degrading to them. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some people."

An ad on

"We noted the image, which appeared on a website targeted generally at members of the public who wished to buy a car, bore no relation to the product being advertised. We considered the overall impression of the ad, including the text “Save a packet on nearly new cars, all under 3 years old. Many with just one careful owner ...”, made a clear link between purchasing a product and women. We therefore considered the ad objectified women. We concluded that the ad, which objectified women through sexual imagery and innuendo in a manner unrelated to the product advertised, was likely to cause serious or widespread offence."

Officer's Club shop (not sure what that is)?

The ASA acknowledged that the ad was a prize promotion related to a "lads" holiday. We considered that the sole focus on the womans chest, in conjunction with the text "Awesome views", was likely to be seen as gratuitous and to objectify women. We considered that the image was likely to cause serious offence to some and was not suitable to be displayed in an untargeted medium where it could be seen by children.

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ElderberrySyrup Mon 05-Dec-11 21:41:37

Officers Club is a clothes shop.

The funny thing is, I saw that 'Awesome views' ad and briefly considered complaining but didn't because there is no point in complaining to the ASA because they never take it seriously grin

forkful Mon 05-Dec-11 21:42:38

A banner ad for "Pump n Ride" inner tubes, on a website for bicycle accessories [hmm]

"The ASA considered that the image of the woman in the ad, and the text "She might go down on you ..." was clearly intended as a sexual innuendo, implying that the woman may be willing to engage in oral sex. We considered that the ad objectified women and we noted FatSpanner's comment that a large proportion of its business came from women. Although in itself not normally an issue, we also noted that the image bore no relation to the product being advertised. We considered the unrelated sexual imagery had the potential to exacerbate any offence caused. We therefore concluded that the ad, which objectified women through sexual imagery and innuendo in a manner unrelated to the product advertised, was likely to cause serious or widespread offence when published on a website which attracted a large proportion of female consumers." shock

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forkful Mon 05-Dec-11 21:45:07

<I've been searching the adjudications for the word "objectified"> grin

I think it is definitely worth complaining. grin

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ElderberrySyrup Mon 05-Dec-11 21:46:42

This is just amazing.
They don't like innuendo! They don't like adverts bearing no relation to the product advertised! They don't like the implication that the woman is for sale!

I wonder what SuitSupply's campaign is like this year....

trulyscrumptious43 Mon 05-Dec-11 22:12:17


NotJustForClassic Mon 05-Dec-11 22:27:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSpreadingChestnutTree Mon 05-Dec-11 22:39:40

Wow! This will really change things then won't it? Because companies are not going to want to pay for advertising which gets banned are they?

ElderberrySyrup Mon 05-Dec-11 22:41:04

And although this is just about adverts in places where they can be seen by children, they're not going to want to pay for two separate campaigns all the time.

TheSpreadingChestnutTree Mon 05-Dec-11 22:42:40


LEttletownofBOFlehem Mon 05-Dec-11 23:25:08

Blimey, some good news for a change!

Sciencegeekmum Mon 05-Dec-11 23:34:18

This is great news grin

Beachcomber Tue 06-Dec-11 08:13:19


The comments are great, they are really analysing why this is a problem of objectification and sexism. I was afraid they would go down the route of 'this is rude because laydeez bodies have rude bits and we don't want the innocent children to see'.

Did somebody give them a pill to make them say all the right things? Or did they employ some women?

Beachcomber Tue 06-Dec-11 08:27:46

Thanks for the links and extracts forkful.

The responses from the misogynists companies are good value.

They are full of Patriarchal Double Think Bullshitspeak.

So the rapey '"What will she do to make you lose control?" is described as being part of their ongoing 'playful, sexy, tongue-in-cheek take on the 'mating game' narrative.'


And the even rapier references made about sweating were cute little jokes about the poor menz losing their cool and being flustered by the pretty ladies.

How crass does an advert have to be when the sick making expression 'sweating like a rapist' springs to mind??

I HATE those fecking Lynx adverts.

Fobwatch Tue 06-Dec-11 10:44:48

What Beachcomber said.

KRITIQ Tue 06-Dec-11 10:51:35

Well, that's good news. It certainly shows that it's worth complaining, worth it every time, if they are actually starting to take complaints seriously, and in the correct context (i.e. potential harm caused by media messages not the moral panic business.)

RealityIsADistantMemory Tue 06-Dec-11 10:55:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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