A recent Adidas sports bra ad was banned in the UK after several residents complained that the ad used gratuitous nudity to objectify and sexualise women.
In a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on Wednesday, the Adidas campaign – which ran on Twitter and some large-scale billboard sites in the UK – was banned for using explicit nudity and appearing where children may possibly see the advertisements.
Adidas’ ad featured the cropped torsos of several topless women displayed in a grid. (NOTE: This link leads to the ad in question, which features nudity. Please visit at your discretion.) The ad accompanied the words: “We believe that women’s breasts of all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort. That’s why our new range of sports bras contains 43 styles, so that everyone can find the one that suits them.
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There were slight variations in the advert depending on location, with a UK poster showing the bare breasts of 62 women and the tagline, “The reasons why we didn’t make just one new sports bra. ” Another poster featured 64 women, although their nipples were pixelated censored.
The ASA said it had received 24 complaints about Adidas advertising.
These complaints included those who felt the ad “objectivized women by sexualizing them and reducing them to body parts” and others who questioned whether the in-person posters “were appropriate to be displayed where they could be seen. by children”.
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Adidas, however, argued that the ads were not objectifying, but rather “aimed to reflect and celebrate different shapes and sizes, illustrate diversity, and demonstrate why custom-fit support bras matter.”
The company added that the images had been cropped to protect the identities of the models, although the volunteer models did not view the advertisement as sexual because “they intended to show breasts simply as part of the body of a woman. ‘a woman”.
Adidas also claimed that the Twitter ads did not violate the terms of service and that the advertising posters were not placed near schools or religious places.
“The images were meant to reflect and celebrate different shapes and sizes and they did not believe they would cause harm or distress to children,” Adidas said.
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Yet the ASA has banned advertising in the UK
“While we did not consider the way the women were depicted to be sexually explicit or objectify them, we did consider the depiction of bare breasts to be likely to be considered explicit nudity,” wrote the SAA.
“We noted that breasts were the main focus of the ads and less emphasis was placed on the bras themselves, which were only referred to in the accompanying text.”
The advertising watchdog has concluded that the Adidas ad violates existing ad codes and should no longer run in its current form.
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