Ad description

A TV ad, for a Lady Gaga CD, featured clips from various music videos including shots of the singer dressed in stockings, suspenders and body harness, crouched on the ground in the same costume, and sensually rubbing her bare stomach with her hands.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast who considered a timing restriction was not necessary.


A viewer, who saw the ad with her children, aged four to 16 years, challenged whether the ad was suitable to be broadcast when children might be watching.


Universal Music said the ad was a compilation of clips from Lady Gaga videos, which were frequently aired on high rotation across UK music channels at all times of the day and therefore did not believe that a timing restriction was necessary.  They said they scheduled the ad in programmes aimed at their target audience of 16- to 44-year-old women.

Clearcast said Lady Gaga was renowned for her inventive and provocative style and they believed that viewers would expect her to wear outlandish and eccentric costumes.  They said the ad consisted of clips from her music videos, currently on air throughout the day on music channels, and argued that she was covered up in different costumes and styles.  They said the dance routines were clearly choreographed and touching her stomach was not sensual but simply a part of the dance routine.  Clearcast said many music videos featured the performers in sexy or provocative clothing and were shown throughout the day. They believed that the ad went no further and therefore did not require any timing restriction.  


Not upheld

The ASA understood that the ad consisted of clips from Lady Gaga promotional videos and noted that although the images featured the singer's trade mark outrageous costumes and performance style the majority of the clips were not overtly sexual.   However, we noted the opening clip of the singer crawling on the floor with her cleavage in full view, and clips of Lady Gaga slowly rubbing her stomach with her hands, and of her kissing the floor were stronger, albeit brief, images.  Although we considered that the images were suitable for a more general audience, we considered that a timing restriction would have been appropriate in order to keep the material away from programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to children.   However, we noted Universal Music had specifically scheduled the ad in and around programmes that would appeal to their target audience of 16- to 44-year-old women.

Because the ad had been carefully scheduled, reducing the likelihood of children seeing it, we concluded that the scheduling had not breached the Code.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule  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 necessary.



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