ASA Bans These Deodorant Ads For ‘Degrading Women’

British watchdog group the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is on a roll: they recently banned images of too-skinny models, Dakota Fanning‘s Lolita posing and Hailee Steinfeld‘s Prada campaign. Their latest target is Lynx–UK equivalent of reliably tasteless deodorant brand Axe–which is owned by Unilever. The ads depict UK glamor model Lucy Pindar in various compromising positions, like so:

And another:

Sidenote: who wears a blazer and bra to DJ?!

Another online ad “featured various close ups of her cleavage, while on-screen text invited viewers to ‘Play with Lucy’ and gave the Lynx website address.”

Images like these of women are par for the course in advterising (especially the kind aimed at teen boys) so it’s surprising to see them banned. In a ruling published last week, the ASA said:

We considered that the various activities that Ms Pinder carried out were presented in a sexually provocative way, and that alongside the focus on Ms Pinder’s cleavage … were likely to be seen as gratuitous and to objectify women. We considered that was emphasized by the text ‘Can she make you lose control?’ … and the invitation to ‘Play with Lucy’, which we considered would also be seen as degrading to women. We therefore concluded that the ads were likely to cause serious and widespread offense. [The ad's language was] clearly intended to imply that using the advertised product would lead to more uninhibited sexual behavior… We therefore considered that the poster would be seen to make a link between purchasing the product and sex with women and in so doing would be seen to objectify women.

Unilever has defended itself, saying that the ads are targeted toward men aged 17-27 (!) and campaigns in this style “had been popular over the years for [their] playful, sexy, tongue-in-cheek take on the ‘mating game’ narrative’.”

It’s not hard to argue that a woman leaned over an oven in lingerie beside language about control is quintessentially degrading. …But do you think the ads should be banned?

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

(UPDATE: But wait! There’s more!)

(via the Daily Mail)

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    • Chloe

      The first one is rape-y as hell. Otherwise, they’re no more offensive or degrading than nearly every other ad. That’s not a justification, of course, but I do wonder why they’ve targeted these.

    • Eileen

      I don’t know; I’m offended by some of the ads, but I don’t want them banned. These in particular aren’t anything worse than tacky. I find the precedent kind of scary.

    • Amanda Rose

      That video just seems like they are trying way too hard. And these advertisements just remind of a female version of all those male Axe spray deodorant commercial, but of course women have more to offer than men ;)

    • MM

      What’s with the UK and banning ads lately? Seriously. I think these ads are in pretty shitty taste, but I don’t think they should be outlawed. I don’t think the government should have so much control over what is allowed to be displayed.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        the ASA is not a government organization, for what it’s worth.

      • MM

        OK, my bad there. They still have control over what’s allowed to be published, though?

    • KEVIN

      the biggest problem of ths adv is sexual objectification on women.. i dont need to explain what is that and what possible harms of that, but you can search on google and read thousands of articles…
      I think ASA has the rights to interfere since this is really harmful to protect the women. Besides women activist are also have a big concern towards this issue. And ASA supports them. And i think that’s fair