Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 35

In the Board’s view an image of a naked man riding on the back of a woman and raising his hand to smack her bottom, similar to the action of a jockey whipping a horse, (Mardi Gras Sydney – 0032/14) had no clear connection to the product advertised. In its view the depiction of someone on all fours was an image consistently considered by the community as a sexualised image suggestive of one person dominating another. The Board determined that the advertisement employed sexual appeal in a manner which was exploitative and degrading. Relevance to product Advertisers should use caution depicting sexualised or nude images when there is no direct relevance to the product. An advertiser’s apology (Good Time Burgers – 0018/14) to a previous upheld decision (0416/13) was viewed by the Board as a humorous response to its previous decision. In this case on the left cheek of the woman’s bottom, there is a cut out portion designed to look like a burger. On the right cheek is the name of the company “Goodtime”. In comparison to upheld cases where text and imagery was found to be exploitative and degrading, the text in conjunction with the image in this case gives a humorous context which in the Board’s view did not amount to an image which is exploitative and degrading. In the Board’s view a television advertisement which asks the question “Have we got your attention?” after showing a woman in a bikini holding a fishing rod (Regal Marine – 0129/14) did not amount to a depiction that would be considered both exploitative and degrading to women, although there was little relevance to the fishing equipment. The Board noted that some members of the community may not approve of an advertisement promoting an online dating service (COUGARLIFE.COM – 0498/14) featuring women chasing a man along a beach to the soundtrack from the movie, “Chariots of Fire”. Complainants raised concerns that the advertisement is sexist in its depiction of women chasing a man. With the tagline for the Review of Operations 2014 advertisement being, “where the women chase you,” the Board considered the depiction of the women chasing a man was relevant to the advertised product which is a dating website where men can register to date older women (‘cougars’). The Board noted the beach setting for the advertisement and considered the women’s swimming costumes were appropriate to the circumstances and that the women are depicted as powerful and confident and not depicted in a manner which is exploitative and degrading. Although sex industry products and services are possibly offensive to some members of the community, the Board view is that it is reasonable to expect advertisements to include images of the associated products, services or activities. A large poster (The Firm Gentleman’s Club - 0163/14) showing a woman wearing stockings and a g-string, another poster (Erotique Adult Centre - 0258/14) showing two women, one wearing a black basque, stockings and suspenders and the other wearing a pair of red lacy knickers sitting on her heels, with her arms covering the side view of her naked breasts, were both found to not be exploitative and degrading. Women who pole dance was one of the entertainment features of a club (Club Shoop – 0153/14) and as such the Board viewed an image of a woman posing on a pole as not exploitative and degrading. product. The Board noted the product is sold in a bottle shaped like a ribbon bow and considered that the use of t he ribbon on the woman was in reference to this and was not intended to depict her as a gift. Similarly, in an advertisement in which a woman is shown laying on her side with wrapped Christmas presents in front of her (Ella Bache – 0535/14), the Board view was that in the context of a skin product the depiction of a woman exposing a significant amount of her skin was not exploitative and the image itself did not portray a woman in a manner which is degrading. The depiction of a woman wearing lingerie which fully covers the model’s private areas, to promote a lingerie store (Honey Birdette – 0300/14 and 0386/14) were advertisements aimed at women, and was in the Board’s view not inappropriate. In both of these cases, the Board view was that the images did not amount to images which use sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative and degrading. The Board also took this view with a poster advertisement (Bras ‘n’ things - 0419/14) featuring female models pictured in an outdoor setting wearing black, beige or brown bras and underwear. Fashion and lingerie The Board has consistently noted that advertisers have the right to use images of women in lingerie in order to sell their underwear products as long as it is not considered exploitative and degrading. In 2014, the Board dismissed complaints under Section 2.2 for an outdoor advertisement (French Connection - 0169/14) that features an image of two women in two poses; one where they are fully dressed, the other with sketches of the clothes over their naked bodies. The Board view was that the imagery was stylised and highly creative and that it was typical of imagery used in fashion magazines and in the fashion industry. A poster where a naked woman is covered in bows and ribbion like a present (L’Oreal Australia 0175/14) was also considered by the Board as a highly stylised image, consistent with a fashion 33