Promoting mustn’t sexualize or objectify ladies, says the supervisory authority

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(Photo: Unsplash / Oleg Ivanov)

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has issued guidelines for the representation of women in advertisements.

It said that it receives "regular" complaints about how women and, to a lesser extent, men are shown in advertisements, and that it "takes a firm line" in advertisements "irresponsibly sexualizing or objectifying people".

Most complaints relate to websites and outdoor advertising for fast fashion brands.

Advertisers, especially lingerie and swimwear, are encouraged to ensure that their ads are not "overtly risky" and that models "are not overtly shown sexually or objectively".

Ads that "show unsubstantiated nudity when it is irrelevant to the product," or ads that "focus solely on the model's body while concealing her face," are likely to be a problem, "the regulator said.

"Marketers should ensure that the content of their ads is appropriate for the media in which they appear, especially if they are likely to be seen by children," said ASA.

"The ASA takes a particularly strict approach against sexually suggestive images in outdoor advertising.

"In short, pictures that are classified as" open / explicitly sexual "are prohibited outdoors. Non-targeted media and materials that are classified as" sexually suggestive "should include a placement restriction to ensure that they are not within Appear 100 meters from a school. "

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