Marketing Week reported a recent advert promoting the M&S lingerie line had been banned following complaints that the advert, featuring a woman wearing lingerie and stockings kneeling on a bed in a somewhat provocative position, was ‘overtly sexual’ and was likely to be seen by children. Is this taking David Cameron’s initiative to hammer down on sexual imagery being used in adverts where it may be deemed inappropriate, and let’s face it all too common?
Interestingly the ASA only received 15 complaints. This was probably not a high percentage of the overall viewers. This is a positive sign in that the government are taking a stricter, and more rigorous approach to deterring brands from featuring material that could be deemed inappropriate for viewers, in this case children! It is apparent that the public, and in turn the government, are becoming more cautious about what children are exposed to, knowing that as media grows, and information is made more accessible, the more likely it is that children will be exposed to inappropriate material at some point.
It is therefore the responsibility of brands to ensure that they act responsibly when promoting new products and consider the implications of their actions, not only where children are concerned. There is a high volume of adverts that are being withdrawn from TV and publically ridiculed through the news but will this deter the likes of M&S and Lynx who suffered an ad ban two weeks ago? There are many instances where brands are being pulled up, the ASA recently banned a perfume advert featuring teenage actress Dakota Fanning, saying it could be seen to sexualize a child. Will this recent splurge of bans make retailers more cautious in their advertising? Hopefully!
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