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ASA rules against suggestive adverts

Dec 08 2011 12:07 Sapa

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Cape Town - Two billboards promoting fragrances by a strip club in Cape Town will have to be taken down after a recent ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The billboards by Mavericks featured a half-naked woman in a sexually suggestive pose next to the slogans "I was working late" or "My car broke down". The adverts were for the club's new fragrance line, Alibis.

A group of complainants argued that the adverts demeaned and objectified women by portraying them as sexual objects. They said the wording "encouraged thought patterns" that justified cheating and extramarital affairs.

The position of the billboards was also not suitable as young and vulnerable children were being exposed. One billboard was in Tamboerskloof opposite a children's park, while the other was on the N1 highway near Paarden Eiland.

In its ruling the ASA said it needed to discern between a complaint against the adult entertainment industry in general and a complaint against the actual content of the adverts.

"It becomes clear that it is not the depiction of a woman's body per se that is problematic. What is of relevance is the reason for the depiction."

The ASA ruled that a woman's body was being used to tantalise the club's male customers into buying a new product, by presenting the fragrance as an extension of its services.

The wording of the advert also had no relationship to the female model within the context of the business and the advertised product.

Mavericks, in its submission, said it would paint clothes onto the billboard.

The ASA, however, ruled that both the original and amended adverts unduly objectified women.

The club would have to withdraw the billboards within two weeks, as per the procedural guide for outdoor advertising.
sa economy  |  entertainment  |  advertising
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