Advertising: It’s not the same everywhere

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

A set of Lynx body spray ads, known as Axe in the US, have been banned, once again, going to show that advertising standards around the world are not the same as here in the US. The set of ads were banned in the UK for inappropriate sexual images and text, as well as for objectifying women.

Most of the ads feature Lucy Pinder, known for her modeling career in Nuts magazine (UK) and for guest starring in a series of UK reality TV shows. The ads were viewed on Yahoo, Hotmail, Rotten Tomatoes and Anorak. Many of the ads picture Pinder in provocative positions, weraring only a bra and underwear.  The ads were banned after the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received over 100 complaints from consumers.  The ASA is the government organization that takes charge if a brand oversteps the advertising rules in the UK.

Just 10 consumers complained about this oven ad, calling it “offensive, because it featured sexually provocative content and was degrading to women,” according to Business Insider.

The ASA also received 97 complaints about this swimsuit ad, with the complaints stating that the ad is “offensive because it was sexually suggestive, provocative, indecent, glamorized casual sex, and because it objectified and was demeaning to women.”

Although these ads may not be suitable for children, they would also not be banned in the US. Does that mean that consumers in the UK have more respect for women? I don’t think so. I think what it does mean is, although their country may be more conservative, the US has become so desensitized to degrading and indecent advertising that it doesn’t even cross our mind to formally complain about it. So, the next time you come across an ad similar to these, take a minute and think about it. Are we sending the wrong messages to consumers? And how is a child going to comprehend the ad?

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