Unlike most places, officials in the U.K. who regulate advertising just love fielding and responding to complaints from the general public — often by banning lots of advertisements! Sometimes getting an ad banned just takes one or two angry letters from people about a certain photoshop job (that newfangled technology no one knows exists unless it is stated in BIG LETTERS on an image, you know). Or a politician complaining about how an ad for wrinkle cream — get this — promises obviously impossible results. But some ads, like David Beckham’s new one for his H&M underwear, survive. In the case of that one, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled against two people (yes, just the two) who found it “offensive”:
“The ASA noted that there was no explicit nudity in the image, and that the ad was for an underwear range,” the findings stated. “We considered that the nature of the product meant viewers of the ad were less likely to regard the ad as gratuitous or offensive, and considered that the poses and facial expressions of David Beckham were mildly sexual at most.
But what ads haven’t been so lucky? Here are 7 the ASA has banned.
The ASA believed Weisz’s face had been photoshopped to inaccurately illustrate the effects of the cream, and told L’Oreal they have to stop photoshopping ads in such a way that misrepresents what their products can do. It’s almost like they’d never seen an ad for face cream, before.
Though Miu Miu tried to defend itself by noting this image is “part of a serious, high-fashion campaign for adult women,” the ASA didn’t give a shit and banned it anyway because the image of a teenager perched on some train tracks was just too perilous and irresponsible for their liking. Apparently they thought it would make kids suicidal or something.
3. Some online American Apparel ads.
Thanks to “a complaint,” the ASA looked into eight ads that appear on AA’s website and decided today that this is amongst the ones that the store can’t include in its U.K. media. Which makes sense given the nudity bu regulating nudity on the internet? Really? Blake Lively or Christina Hendricks might know a thing or two about how that’s impossible.
Because Fanning is 17 and the perfume bottle “rested in her lap between her legs” the ASA decided “the ad could be seen to sexualise a child.” And I’m sure many, many teenagers saved from viewing this ad put off having lots of unprotected sex because of the ASA’s decision.
The same politician who complained about the Weisz ad — Jo Swinson — also complained about unrealistic photoshopping done to this Julia Roberts ad. It’s like she hasn’t seen “Eat Pray Love” and doesn’t know what we all do: that Julia is not a real person! With wrinkles or features that move or make expressions!
The ASA said Lucy was presented in “a sexually provocative way” and that this campaign is “degrading to women” and “likely to cause serious widespread offense.” Well, at least they know how we feel pretty much every time we turn on a TV.
This image, the ASA decided, was “likely to cause serious offense to many adults because it was clear that she was taking a photograph of her genitalia.” Also, kids might see it and start having unprotected sex in the middle of the lion cage at the zoo. Duh!