Ad description

A TV ad for fragrances featured a line of people waiting outside a nightclub and a doorman pointing towards a sign which stated "THIS IS A PRIVATE PARTY". A woman was seen surreptitiously crawling through the crowd and a man was prevented from trying to enter via a back door. Various people were seen socialising inside the party. A woman was shown from behind, apparently topless, facing a large stuffed polar bear. Another woman was shown, again from behind, throwing open her coat causing a shocked reaction from another woman standing in front of her.


Four complainants objected that the ad was offensive and inappropriate for broadcast at a time when children might be watching.


Puig UK Ltd (Puig) that the ad for the 'VIP 212' perfume was created in line with the overall brand concept of "Are you on the list?". They believed the ad would not in any way cause serious or widespread offence and that the levels of nudity were of the kind expected in other ads for fragrance or shower products and were not inappropriate for broadcast around programmes which children would be likely to be watching.

Clearcast believed the ad was not offensive or inappropriate for broadcast at a time when children would be watching and stated that the content was typical of its genre and featured beautiful people in a stylised backdrop. They stated that the ad had been shot in black and white and illustrated the avant garde nature of the party through the fancy dress costumes and the stuffed polar bear. They stated that within this surreal party there were some slightly risqué elements but believed it was commonplace in perfume ads to include artistic shots of provocatively dressed women. They agreed with Puig that ads for shower products often included more flesh and believed the woman seen with the polar bear was sensual, but not overtly sexual. They stated that it was the viewer who assumed that the woman shown from behind opening her coat was naked beneath and believed that adults were more likely to be outraged on behalf of their children, who may be too young and naive to embellish this image with anything shocking. They believed the image would not cause serious or widespread offence and that it was suitable for broadcast around programmes that children were likely to be watching.


Not upheld

The ASA noted the ad featured young, attractive and glamorous characters at an exclusive party. We also noted the ad featured a brief image of a naked woman with her back to the camera, facing a stuffed polar bear and an image of another woman, also with her back to the camera, opening her coat causing a shocked reaction from the person standing in front of her. Although we understood that some viewers may have been uncomfortable with the innuendo presented in the ad, we considered that the black and white images provided a stylised image of a modern, slightly fantastical, party scene and that any partial nudity was fleeting. We considered that the brief images of the women were not presented in an excessively sexual or provocative way and that the content was likely to be in line with most viewers' expectations of a perfume ad. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence and that a timing restriction to prevent the ad from being broadcast at a time when children were likely to be watching was unnecessary.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules  4.2 4.2 Advertisements must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards.  (Harm and offence) and  32.3 32.3 Relevant timing restrictions must be applied to advertisements that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that are otherwise unsuitable for them.  (Scheduling) but did not find it in breach.


No further action required.


4.2     32.3    

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