‘Sexually suggestive’ Boohoo advert banned by advertising watchdog

Fashion retailer Boohoo has had an advert banned for being likely to cause serious or widespread 'offence' or harm by objectifying women.
Boohoo has previously been censured by the advertising watchdog.
// A Boohoo advert has been banned for being likely to cause ‘offence’ by objectifying women
// The advert showed a model wearing a T-shirt with only thong-style bikini bottoms and trainers

Fashion retailer Boohoo has had an advert banned for being likely to cause serious or widespread ‘offence’ or harm by objectifying women.

A complaint was submitted to the The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), claiming that the model’s poses objectified and sexualised women. The complaint said the ad was offensive, harmful and irresponsible.

In response, Boohoo said the images were part of its swimwear category and explained the model was wearing the T-shirt with a bikini.


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However the retailer said it understands the importance of the issues raised and had removed the images from its website.

The ASA understood that, although it had been presented as part of the swimwear category, the advertised product was an oversized T-shirt and the product listing appeared as a result of searches for T-shirts or tops.

The ASA said two of the images were “sexually suggestive” while the image of the model lifting the T-shirt to expose her stomach and side emphasised her exposed skin rather than the product.

The advertising watchdog said : “We also noted that neither the partial nudity nor the bikini bottoms were relevant to the product and that the images did not show the product as it would usually be worn.

“For those reasons, we concluded that the ad objectified and sexualised women. It was therefore irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.”The ASA ruled the ad must not appear again in its current form.

The watchdog also said: “We told Boohoo.com UK to ensure that future ads were prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society, and that they did not cause serious or widespread offence or harm by objectifying women.”

A Boohoo Group spokesman said: “We are disappointed by the findings of this ruling because we pride ourselves in our inclusive, body positive imagery.

“Our marketing reflects the vibrant and confident culture of our brand, and is not designed to intentionally cause offence.

“We removed the associated images from our website when we received details of the complaint from the ASA.”

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