ASA Adjudication on The Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd
The Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd t/a
22 February 2012
Number of complaints:
A poster, for a stage production of Calendar Girls, stated "JENNIFER ELLISON is Miss July" and featured a photograph of the actress who was shown naked and seated at a piano. She had her back to the reader and was looking over her right shoulder. Further text stated "Calendar Girls by Tim Firth 29 November - 3 December...".
The complainant, who did not believe the photograph was appropriate for general display, where it could be seen by children, challenged whether it was socially irresponsible.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Leep marketing+pr (Leep), who responded on behalf of The Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd, said although some of the images used to promote Calendar Girls implied nudity, they were careful not to use images that were suggestive, provocative or sexual. They said all their advertising images were directly inspired by photographs which members of the original Women's Institute produced for their charity calendar in 1998. They said the target audience for the show were females aged 55 and older who were likely to be more conservative and have stronger feelings about sexually provocative material. They also said the story of the show was familiar to a large proportion of the population who would have been aware that it was about a group of women who produced a nude calendar.
The ASA noted the ad featured a photograph of an actress shown naked, with her back to the camera, as she was seated at a piano. We also noted text stated "JENNIFER ELLISON is Miss July... Calendar Girls by Tim Firth 29 November - 3 December" and considered that the context of a theatrical performance was clear. We noted the actress was naked and that the ad was on displayed in public. However we also noted her nudity was purposefully obscured by the piano. We considered that the image was not overtly sexual, nor was it overly graphic and, while we acknowledged that some might find it distasteful, concluded that it was unlikely to be seen as socially irresponsible.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.