A poster for Quiz Clothing, a clothing retailer, seen in June 2017. The ad depicted a young woman wearing ripped jeans and a bardot-style top, who was sitting in the window of an ice cream van and licking an ice cream.
Two complainants, who both believed the ad appeared to sexualise a child, objected that the ad was irresponsible.
Tarak International Ltd t/a Quiz Clothing said they were sorry that the image had caused discomfort, and that no offence was ever intended, nor was the advert meant to be perceived as sexually explicit. They said their ‘Lost in Summer’ campaign centred around the fun, everyday activities enjoyed by their consumers during the summer months, and that the ad was relevant to that concept. They said the model in the image was 25 years old at the time of shooting and the thought of sexualisation was never in consideration, nor was it ever intentionally implied.
To avoid any further issues, they had taken steps to remove the image from their digital channels, and the one remaining ad on an outdoor poster site was being taken down. They said they had no plans to use the image again in the future.
Exterion Media said they had reviewed the ad based on their guidelines and did not feel that the model would be considered to be a child or that the image was of a sexual nature.
The ASA acknowledged that the model was 25 at the time the photograph was taken. While the model did appear youthful, she did not appear to be under the age of 16.
We noted that the ad did not feature any explicit sexual references or nudity. The model was sitting with her legs apart, and we considered that this, combined with the fact that she was staring at the camera and licking an ice cream could be seen by some as sexually suggestive. However, we considered that the model's overall pose and expression were not sexually provocative, and the ad was therefore likely to be seen as no more than mildly sexual.
Given the above, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to be seen as sexualising children or be seen to be 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.