Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both were Upheld.
A poster, for a mirror retailer, was headed "www.mirrorfit.co.uk". On the left was an image of an overweight man's naked body, visible from shoulder to thigh, with his hands covering his genitals. Text underneath the image stated "Need a small mirror? www.mirrorfit.co.uk". On the right was an image of a woman, shown from shoulder to waist, wearing a bra and pushing her breasts together. Text above the image stated "Need a big mirror? www.mirrorfit.co.uk".
The ASA received four complaints.
1. Three complainants objected that the ad was offensive and unsuitable for display in a public place.
2. One complainant challenged whether the ad was unsuitable to be displayed where it could be seen by children.
1. & 2.
Mirrorfit said their ad was intended to be eye-catching and that they had shown it to a number of people before finalising the design, none of whom had provided any negative feedback. They told us they did not consider that the advert was inappropriate for display where it could be seen by children.
1. & 2. Upheld
The ASA noted that the ad did not feature any explicit nudity. However, we considered that the text "Need a small mirror?" under the image of the male figure and "Need a big mirror?" above the female figure, invited consumers to consider the physical attributes of the models, whose heads were not shown in the images. We further considered that that text was likely to be understood by consumers as innuendo relating to the size of the male figure's genitalia and the female figure's breasts, and that the ad therefore objectified both men and women. We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and that it was irresponsible because it was not suitable to be displayed where it could be seen by children.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.
(Social responsibility) and
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.