A poster advertising lingerie, seen on the side of buses in early November 2011, stated "Introducing Naked Glamour Calvin Klein Underwear" and featured five images of a model wearing a bra and briefs.
The complainant, an Orthodox Cherdi Jew, objected that:
1. the ad was offensive to the large Orthodox Jewish population of Stamford Hill, whose religious beliefs required them not to see images of women wearing only underwear;
2. it was irresponsible to display the ad in untargeted media in public as it would be seen by children.
Calvin Klein, Inc. (Calvin Klein) said they did not believe that the ad was offensive or socially irresponsible. They said the ad merely featured the product, their underwear range, being worn by a model. They believed it was reasonable to feature models wearing underwear when advertising these products, and that the ad was neither sexually suggestive nor overtly sexual. They also said their media vendor had not believed that the ad fell into the "risky" category, and had been happy for the ad campaign to proceed.
1. Not upheld
The ASA noted that there was no explicit nudity in the images, and that the ad was for an underwear range. We considered that the nature of the product meant that viewers of the ad were less likely to regard the ad as gratuitous or offensive, and noted that the poses of the model were natural. We considered that the ad might be viewed by some as mildly sexual in nature, as the underwear featured in the largest image appeared sheer in nature, and the product name "Naked Glamour" was featured. However, although we recognised that some people with strongly held religious views may find the ad distasteful, we did not consider that the ad was likely to cause widespread offence or serious offence to those with religious views.
On this point we investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule
Marketing communications must not contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care must be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. Compliance will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards.
Marketing communications may be distasteful without necessarily breaching this rule. Marketers are urged to consider public sensitivities before using potentially offensive material.
The fact that a product is offensive to some people is not grounds for finding a marketing communication in breach of the Code. (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.
2. Not upheld
We noted the complainant's concerns that this ad, displayed on buses, was likely to be seen by children. We considered that the ad may be viewed by some as mildly sexual in nature, as the underwear featured in the largest image appeared sheer in nature, and the product name "Naked Glamour" was featured. However, we did not consider that the images were overtly sexual, and considered that the ad was acceptable for use in outdoor media likely to be seen by children. We therefore concluded that the ad was not socially irresponsible.
On this point we investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 1.3 Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society. (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.