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ASA Adjudication on WDV Talent Agency-London Ltd

WDV Talent Agency-London Ltd t/a Larry Flynt's Hustler Club UK

Sheraton House
Lower Road
Chorleywood
Hertfordshire
WD3 5LH

Date:

30 January 2013

Media:

Regional press

Sector:

Leisure

Number of complaints:

1

Agency:

Russell Blake

Complaint Ref:

A12-211266

Background

Summary of Council decision:

Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.

Ad

A regional press ad, for Larry Flynt's Hustler Club UK, a strip club, appeared in the Sutton Guardian. It was headlined "HALLOWEEN FETISH NIGHT" and a price list was headed "Our Barely Legal Prices …". The ad also featured a large image of a woman wearing a cutaway black PVC top and with a chain and padlock draped over her body.

Issue

The complainant, who believed the ad was overtly sexual, challenged whether the ad was:

1. likely to cause serious or widespread offence; and

2. unsuitable for an untargeted medium, in particular because it could be seen by children.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

Response

Larry Flynt's Hustler Club UK (LFHC) said the ad had been checked very carefully prior to publication and they had ensured there was no nudity or cleavage shown. They said they had not received any other complaints about the ad and the outfit the woman was wearing was similar to fancy dress that might be seen at Halloween events. LFHC said the text "Our Barely Legal Prices …" was a play on words; they did not believed that this, or the picture were likely to cause serious or widespread offence. They said the Sutton Guardian was not attractive to children. They were, however, willing to amend their advertising if necessary.

The Sutton Guardian said they had not received any complaints about the ad. They said they checked all ads before they were published and if staff had concerns the editor was asked for his/her view on whether internal legal advice should be sought. They said no concerns were raised about the ad, which they believed was not overtly sexual or likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Assessment

1. & 2. Upheld

The ASA noted the ad was for an adult entertainment venue and, as such, the image was relevant to the nature of the club being advertised. We considered, however, the combination of the woman's PVC garments, her exposed leg and the chain and padlock, along with the text "FETISH NIGHT" and "Our Barely Legal Prices …", which we considered was likely to be understood as a reference to the age of consent, meant the ad was overtly sexual. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, particularly in an untargeted medium.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).

Action

The ad should not appear again in its current form in an untargeted medium. We told LFHC to ensure future marketing communications were prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and society and that, particularly in an untargeted medium, they did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

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