Jigsaw advert banned for ‘objectifying’ women

Jigsaw advert showing woman's legs
The ASA deemed the advert was "likely to cause serious offence"
// An advert for fashion retailer Jigsaw has been banned for ‘objectifying’ women
// The ASA deemed it was “likely to cause serious offence”

An advert for fashion retailer Jigsaw that featured a model climbing over a fence in her underwear has been banned for ‘objectifying’ women.

The advert was deemed as being “likely to cause serious offence” by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following two complaints about the ad, for being offensive and irresponsible.

As part of a wider email marketing campaign titled “Into the Woods”, the advert for Jigsaw’s AW21 collection highlighted social activities in nature. The advert in question – which ran in September this year – included the subject line, “These boots were made for walking”.

However, the ad presented an image from that campaign in isolation and was assessed as such. It included a picture of a woman climbing over a fence wearing a jumper, with just boots and underwear on her bottom half.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) pointed out that: “The model’s face was not visible and, given its focus on the model’s exposed buttocks and upper legs…  the low-angle nature of the image gave it a voyeuristic feel.”

Read more: Jigsaw sales plunge by £31m amid Covid pandemic

Because of this, the ASA considered there was a sexually suggestive element to the image, adding that her partial nudity was further highlighted as she was dressed in a way which was out of context with her surroundings.

“For those reasons we considered that the ad objectified the model depicted and invited readers to view her body as a sexual object,” the watchdog continued.

“Because the ad objectified and stereotyped women as sexual objects, we concluded that it was irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.”

The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form. It also told Jigsaw to “ensure that future advertising did not cause serious offence by objectifying women.”

Robinson Webster, trading as Jigsaw, said the image was part of an artistic series created as a celebration of reconnecting with nature, enjoying time with friends and the freedom of self-expression.

Jigsaw also said the advert was created by an all-female team and “came from a place of celebration and freedom”. It stated that no other body parts were exposed because the focus was on the product (the boots).

Jigsaw said they understood that seeing the image in isolation and without the wider context might have led to it being perceived in a different way, which was not their intention. They agreed to withdraw the image from any future ads.

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