ASA Adjudication on The Maxim Creative Group Ltd
The Maxim Creative Group Ltd
Unit 7, Osborne Industrial Estate
3 August 2011
Number of complaints:
An ad, in Retail Design and Technology magazine, dated 25 April 2011. The ad featured a photograph of a woman who had been gagged. Text stated “MAXIMUM DOMINATION CONTROLLING YOUR RETAIL ENVIROMENT...”
The complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive, because it was demeaning to women.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
The Maxim Creative Group (Maxim) said the ad was not intended to be demeaning to women. They said the ad was a play on the words used more than the image. They understood that the readership of the magazine was exclusively adults.
Dream Creative Solutions (Dream), the publisher of Retail Design and Technology magazine, stated that they had received only one complaint about the ad. They explained that the publication in which the ad appeared was distributed on a monthly basis to 6,000 regular readers in hard copy and to 14,000 readers in digital format.
Dream believed that the ad was risqué, but that it was not offensive or derogatory to women. They believed that the ad was purely a play on words and given that their readership was exclusively adult, they considered the ad to be acceptable.
The ASA noted that the readership of Retail Design and Technology magazine was exclusively adult. We also noted that the images were highly stylised and that the woman was shown in a strong and confident pose.
However, we noted that the text in the ad made reference to domination and control and considered that readers were likely to interpret the use of such references in conjunction with an image of a woman who had been gagged to be demeaning to women.
On that basis, we concluded that ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence)
The ad must not appear again in its current form.