Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 34

Exploitative & Degrading (Section 2.2, AANA Code of Ethics) Section 2.2 of the Code concerning the use of sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative and degrading was introduced in 2012. This section takes into account the objectification of children, men and women and requires that the advertisement use sexual appeal in a manner that is both exploitative and degrading in order to be in breach of the Code. Common complaints under Section 2.2 of the Code focus on use of women’s bodies and use of women as sexual objects, and concerns about relevance images may have to the product or service advertised. Children The AANA Code of Ethics Practice Note provides the following additional guidelines for advertisers regarding exploitative and degrading content concerning children: in advertisements where images of children are used, sexual appeal is not acceptable and will always be regarded as exploitative and degrading. In 2014 the Board found one advertisement in breach of Section 2.2 in relation to images of children. Concern about exploitative and degrading imagery of a child was raised in a motorcycle leather gear advertisement (Mars Leather – 0225/14) which featured a group of men dressed in denim and leather and a naked toddler wearing boots and sunnies. The young boy is apparently naked with his groin covered by the wooden paling of the fence with the group standing behind. In the Board’s view the image is intended to suggest that the boy is naked except for leather boots, noting since its original publication over 30 years ago, there had been a significant increase in public awareness and sensitivity regarding images of children. While acknowledging that the image was intended to be an innocent portrayal of a young boy trying to appear tough alongside the grown men, the Board took into account the Practice Note to the Code which leaves the Board obliged to uphold a complaint if there is any suggestion of sexual appeal in the advertisement. The Board view was that the advertisement employed what might be considered by some members of the community as sexual appeal. Men In 2014 there were no cases considered by the Board concerning exploitative and degrading imagery of men. Complaints regarding discrimination or vilificatio