A paid-for ad on Facebook, seen on 16 August 2020, for the e-commerce platform Wish.com, featured an image of a child wearing a crop top and knickers with a dressing gown.
IssueTwo complainants challenged whether the ad portrayed a child in a sexual way and was irresponsible.
ResponseContextLogic Inc t/a Wish.com, stated that they did not agree with the complainant’s characterisation of the ad. However, they had also received a complaint about the ad and so in response had removed the image. Facebook did not have any comments in relation to the investigation.
Although the ASA was not provided with any information about the model’s age, we considered that she clearly looked under 18 years of age. The model was shown in a crop top and knickers and posed with her hand on her hip, positioning one leg in front of the other and looking at the camera. While not overtly sexual, the pose was quite adult for a model who was clearly under 18. We considered that the model’s pose, in conjunction with the revealing clothing, was likely to be seen to as sexualised.
Because we considered that the ad depicted a person who appeared to be under the age of 18 in a sexual way, we concluded it was irresponsible and breached the Code. 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. (Social responsibility) and 4.8 4.8 Marketing communications must not portray or represent anyone who is, or seems to be, under 18 in a sexual way. However, this rule does not apply to marketing communications whose principal function is to promote the welfare of, or to prevent harm to, under-18s, provided any sexual portrayal or representation is not excessive. (Harm and offence).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told ContextLogic Inc t/a Wish.com to ensure future ads did not include images that portrayed or represented anyone who was, or seemed to be, under 18 years of age in a sexual manner.