Images used in an ad campaign for David Beckham’s range of bodywear at fashion retailer H&M have today been declared as “not socially irresponsible” by a government adjudicator.
Five complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding a digital poster which displayed three images of the famous footballer, one of which showed him wearing only a pair of trunk briefs.
The complainants claimed that the advert was offensive and that H&M had been irresponsible because the image was unsuitable for children to see, but the ASA ruled that this was not true.
As part of its summary the ASA stated: “There was no explicit nudity in the image, and… the ad was for an underwear range. 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.
“While we acknowledged that some viewers might consider the images distasteful, we concluded the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
“Because the ad was for an underwear range, was not overtly sexual and did not feature explicit nudity, we considered the ad was not unsuitable for children to see, and concluded it was not socially irresponsible.”
In its defense, H&M pointed out that the sites used for the campaign were picked because they would reach their target audience of 18 to 39 year-olds, and were generally well away from any schools.
Beckham is just the latest famous name to be associated with H&M ranges, following Kylie Minogue and designers Roberto Cavalli, Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney in releases collection with the high street retailer.