The Advertising Standards Agency has refused to uphold four complaints about a Figleaves poster ad from the online retailer’s AW11 Underground campaign.
The ASA ruled that the imagery, which depicted a woman posing by a mantelpiece wearing a matching lingerie set, stockings and stilettos, was ‘unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.’
Three of the complainants stated that they found the adverts was offensive, while two also challenged whether the ad was unsuitable for display where it might be seen by children.
Figleaves claimed that the media owner, CBS Outdoor, who displayed the posters, contacted the CAP Copy Advice service before accepting the ads. The company had reportedly understood from CBS Outdoor that the ads were likely to be acceptable under the Code, provided they did not appear within 100m of a school.
Spokespeople for the online retailer told the ASA that they had tried to present their brand in an ‘aspirational and stylish’ manner, and that they did not believe it was offensive or salacious in any way. They considered the photography in the ad was ‘more tasteful and less provocative’ than other current outdoor campaigns and was done in the best possible manner relevant to the product being featured.
They also did not believe the ad had caused widespread or serious offence, because of the low number of complaints the ASA had received.
ASA representatives said they noted the ad was for a lingerie company and recognised that their advertising would understandably feature a model wearing lingerie.
An ASA statement read: "We noted that the model was wearing a matching bra and knickers set, as well as black stockings and stiletto shoes. We noted the complainants’ concerns that the ad was overtly sexual, but we noted also that the ad did not show any nudity and that the image used was relevant to Figleaves. We understood that the ad may not appeal to everyone.
“However, we considered that, given the context, which was for underwear, the ad was not overtly sexual and therefore, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to those who saw it.”
This is the latest in a spate of complaints over lingerie adverts that the ASA has refused to uphold over the past few months. M & S and Agent Provocateur images/film clips have also been cleared by the agency, this year.