A circular for The Food Hub, an online takeaway delivery service, received on 17 September 2021, featured an image of a woman wearing lingerie lying back in a provocative pose behind various fast food items.
IssueThe complainant, who believed the image was sexist and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was offensive and irresponsible.
ResponseThe Food Hub did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by The Food Hub’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We considered that the image used in the ad bore no relevance to the takeaway and delivery service advertised. The image featured a model in lingerie posing provocatively in front of various fast food items. We considered that while the image was only mildly sexual in nature, showing the model in her underwear amongst fast food items for no other reason than to promote a takeaway service stereotyped women by presenting them as sexual objects.
Although the ad was not sexually explicit, we considered that by using a suggestive image of a woman that bore no relevance to the advertised product, the ad objectified women by presenting them as sexual objects. Overall, we considered that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and included a gender stereotype in a way that was likely to cause harm. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 4.1 and 4.9 (Harm and offence).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told The Food Hub to ensure that their ads were socially responsible and did not cause serious or widespread offence by objectifying women. We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance team.