Ad description

The "24 inch Monitors" page of, which offered PC monitors for sale, featured images of 20 PC monitors. Eighteen of the images included a woman wearing underwear on the monitor screen.


The complainant challenged whether the images were offensive, because they believed them to be sexist and degrading.


Aria Technology Ltd (Aria) believed the images were not degrading to woman. They also said that the majority of their customers were younger men, who were either computer games or technology enthusiasts. In that context, they believed the images were acceptable.



The ASA noted the ad included images of women in their underwear and that two of the images showed women wearing only knickers and concealing their breasts with their arm and a pillow respectively. We therefore considered the images were likely to be seen as sexually provocative and had the effect of making those women appear sexually available. We also considered many of the models had sultry expressions on their faces and were shown in provocative positions, such as being laid on their backs with their arms outstretched or crawling towards the camera.

We considered sexually provocative images of women bore no relation to the products being advertised and that the ad therefore objectified the women by portraying them as sexual objects.  We considered that because the ad objectified women it was also sexist and degrading.  On that basis, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.  

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  1.3 1.3 Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.  (Compliance) and  4.1 4.1 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).


The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Aria to ensure future ads did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

1.3     4.1    

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