A poster for 4Play Adult Store, which appeared near a bus stop in Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear, was seen on 25 April 2017. The ad contained text that stated "4play adult store ... Use our new Click & Collect service to receive an additional 10% Discount." The ad also featured an image of a woman dressed in purple bra, knickers, suspenders and stockings. She was reclining on her side with her arm raised and her hand touching her head.
The complainant, who believed that the ad was unsuitable for display where children could see it, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible.
Damcott Ltd t/a 4Play Adult Store stated that they had contacted the agency they used for their street advertising, and had been assured that the ad was in compliance with the agency’s standards. They stated that their aim was not to upset people, but that models were used regularly in ads for similar retailers, and felt that the ad was very tame compared to other ads.
Pipadverts Ltd, the media site owner, stated that they had not received any direct complaints and that the image in the ad would not fall foul of their normal standards. They said the image was similar to 1940’s style pin-up images and was not at all sexually provocative, and felt that it was tame in comparison to the advertising of some other mainstream lingerie retailers. They said there was no nudity in the ad and the underwear worn by the model was not skimpy. They also stated that they did not allow adult shops to advertise near schools, but they did not prescribe a specific distance from schools in their operating procedures and instead would rely on their judgment.
The ASA noted that the model featured in the ad was in a reclining pose that accentuated her chest and hips. The model’s hair appeared tousled, her lips were slightly parted and she had a sultry facial expression. Although the model was wearing a matching lingerie set, we noted that it was not overtly revealing and the ad did not show any nudity. We noted that the name of the shop was a play on words and acknowledged that some might find the name distasteful, but considered that the pun was unlikely to be understood by most children. We also acknowledged that some might find the products sold by the shop distasteful, but noted that such products could be advertised as long as ads complied with the Code and were not irresponsible, harmful or offensive in their presentation.
Notwithstanding the nature of the products sold by Damcott, we considered that the image featured was sensual, and the ad overall was sexually suggestive but not explicit. The size of the poster and the location on a main high street meant that it was likely to attract some attention. Although we understood that the ad in question did not have a placement restriction, we noted that it had been placed more than 100 m away from schools located in the area. We therefore considered that the ad had not been inappropriately placed and that it was not irresponsible.
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. (Responsible advertising), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.