Britain's Advertising Standards Authority, or ASA, must be getting tired lately.
Just this month, the organization has banned the following spots from billboards and televisions:
- Dakota Fanning's racy Marc Jacobs ad
- A set of Drop Dead ads that featured a "too skinny" model
- A Hailee Steinfeld ad that features the actress -- GASP! -- posing on railroad tracks .
And now the ASA is cracking down on another sets of ads, this time for just being straight up "too sexy."
The controversial Lynx deodorant ads, which star UK pinup girl Lucy Pinder, started appearing on major Internet sites in the UK recently. Featuring a bikini-clad Pinder, the copy doles out innuendos like, "What will she do to make you lose control?", "Play with Lucy" and "Put premature perspiration to the test."
The ASA says they received 10 complaints about the ads' salacious messages.
A separate poster ad that doesn't star Pinder received an additional 113 complaints, reports the Guardian. In that ad, a blonde woman stands on a beach wearing bikini bottoms while clutching an undone bikini top against her breasts, with the slogan, "The cleaner you are the dirtier you get."
What's the official reason for the ban? Says the Guardian:
The majority of the complaints to the ASA were that the ad campaign was offensive because it was sexually suggestive, indecent, provocative, glamorised casual sex, and objectified and demeaned women.
The ASA also said that the ads were "clearly intended to imply that using the advertised product would lead to more uninhibited sexual behaviour."
In other words, it's a typical male-targeted ad campaign, right? But what's more understandable, complaints also came from parents who said their children had asked what the "dirty" tagline meant. Awkward!
Unilever, who owns Lynx, said in a statement that their ads weren't meant to be taken so seriously, reports the Daily Mail:
[Unilever] said the products are designed for men aged 17-27 and 'had been had been popular over the years for its playful, sexy, tongue-in-cheek take on the 'mating game' narrative.
Unilever said consumers had 'come to expect, and were comfortable with, the narrative, tone and content seen in their ads.'
It said the video ads 'were designed to be playful, sexy and humorous but not to cause offence.'
You might remember Lynx's last ad campaign, which also landed the company in hot water; a South Africa spot featured sexy angels forsaking their heavenly realm out of lust for an earthly man who's doused himself in Lynx. The ASA cracked down on that campaign after Christians complained the ads were offensive to their religious views.
See the purportedly offensive ads in our slideshow below.
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