Ad description

A poster, seen during September 2023, featured an image of model and influencer Em Rose wearing a bra and a silk top open at the front. The image, which was cropped at just below hip level, showed the top half of her thong-style underwear from the front. Her hand was placed on her chest. Text stated “” with the logo of the OnlyFans social media platform underneath. The poster also featured the Twitter, Instagram and TikTok logos and the text “@EMROSEBYDARK”.


The ASA received 12 complaints, including one from the London Borough of Haringey:

1. Some of the complainants, who believed the ad was overly sexualised and objectified women, challenged whether it was offensive or harmful.

2. All of the complainants, who understood that OnlyFans was an internet content subscription service which featured sexual adult content and were concerned that the ad was displayed in close proximity to a youth centre, milkshake shop, schools and a roller-skating rink, challenged whether the ad was inappropriate for display in an untargeted medium where children could see it.


1. & 2. Emily Rose said she had developed the ad with the sensibilities of potential audiences in mind. She believed it adhered to established advertising guidelines and reflected trends observed in leading brands. She considered that the image used was not suggestive or harmful, and believed it to be less provocative than mainstream ads for lingerie or perfume. Ms Rose said the ad deliberately omitted any call to action.

She maintained that OnlyFans branding appeared in mainstream media, where it was associated with high-profile sporting personalities and viewed by audiences of all ages. She sent an example where the OnlyFans logo featured on a car at a motor racing championship and on a boxer’s clothing.

The ad was placed with consideration to child safety and not in the vicinity of schools. Ms Rose believed the ad would not appeal to children because it did not feature bright colours, engaging slogans, fun elements or QR codes. She sent figures from her social media channel that showed her audience was primarily in the 25-44 age bracket.

Ms Rose said the OnlyFans website had stringent restrictions in place. Mobile networks required users to contact their provider and submit identification as proof of age. The website also required credit card details and payment authorisation which served as safeguards before any content could be accessed.

She understood that ads could be distasteful without causing serious or widespread offence under the Code, and the fact that that a product was offensive to some people was not grounds for the ASA to determine that the ad breached the Code.

Amplify Outdoor, the media owner, said they had not received any complaints directly. They had not intended to cause offence but simply wished to provide a voice to a legitimate business that wanted to use their network. They reviewed the image to ensure it was suitable and provided Em Rose with a list of potential sites. Those sites excluded locations within 100 metres of schools. They believed the ad was suitable for public display because it did not mention sexual services or pornographic content. OnlyFans was a locked site that prevented under-18s from accessing explicit content. They believed the image was similar to those used in shampoo, gym wear and lingerie advertising. It was, in their view, relevant to the advertiser’s brand and business and did not employ sexual appeal in a manner that was exploitative of women

.Amplify pointed out that the poster’s use of an image and social media icons was consistent with many other poster ad campaigns. They did not believe that all those who saw the poster would see the poster as sexual in nature; children in general did not know about OnlyFans and adults did not need to explain the content to them. Amplify drew a parallel with alcohol and gambling ads that were similarly displayed in outdoor media. They added that the OnlyFans logo appeared widely at boxing matches, golf tournaments and other sporting events, and pointed out that OnlyFans included content other than that of a sexual nature; for example, Em Rose had a workout page. They cited a previous ASA ruling where a similar poster was found not to be in breach of the Code.


1.& 2. Upheld

The ad featured an image of Em Rose alongside the web address of her OnlyFans page and the icons of social media sites. The hashtag #EMROSEBYDARK referred to her profile name on those sites. The ad therefore promoted Ms Rose and her business on online platforms. The ASA understood that the OnlyFans platform contained various kinds of content posted by subscribers to its service, including adult sexual content. We acknowledged that some people would find ads for such services distasteful because of the nature of the service advertised, particularly if they appeared in an untargeted medium. However, the Code stated that the fact that a product was offensive to some people was not grounds for finding a marketing communication in breach of the Code. Legitimate businesses were permitted to advertise as long as they did so responsibly. Our assessment was, therefore, focussed on a consideration of the image, the text and the overall impression and the placement of the ad.

The image showed Ms Rose in lingerie. She wore a push-up bra and her left hand was draped over her chest, which drew attention to her cleavage. The top and front of her thong-style underwear were clearly visible and the cropped image drew attention to the thin straps. An open blouse was worn off one shoulder, which suggested that she was in the process of undressing. Her hip was pushed forward, which placed further emphasis on her partially clothed body. Her head was at a slight angle, and her eyes were looking directly into the camera. We considered that her expression, in combination with the styling and her pose, was suggestive and coquettish. We considered that the styling, pose and expression would be seen as sexualised and provocative. Although we acknowledged it formed her social media handle, we considered that impression was further reinforced by the accompanying text “EMROSEBYDARK”.

We acknowledged the image of Ms Rose was relevant to the OnlyFans service and in keeping with some of its usual content, which was sexual and explicit, but that the image was not exploitative or degrading in tone. Notwithstanding that, we considered that the combination of the image and the handle “@EMROSEBYDARK” in conjunction with an OnlyFans web address, meant that the ad taken as a whole would be seen as overtly sexual, particularly to those who were familiar with the content of the OnlyFans platform.

The ad was shown on a poster in London close to a main road, which was an untargeted medium, and was therefore likely to be seen by large numbers of people, including under-18s. We acknowledged that Amplify had applied a targeting restriction in selecting a site that was not within 100 metres of any schools. We considered, however, that because the ad was overtly sexual and was displayed in an untargeted medium where it had the potential to be seen by a large number of people, including children, it was irresponsible and likely to cause widespread offence. We concluded that the ad breached the Code.

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


The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Em Rose to ensure that future advertising in outdoor media was not overtly sexual and to avoid causing widespread offence.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

1.2     1.3     4.1    

More on