Britain’s ASA to Ban ‘Overly Sexual Images’ Near Schools

Everybody’s favorite standards authority is at it again. Britain’s infamous Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which has made headlines recently for banning L’Oreal ads featuring Julia Roberts which it deemed overly airbrushed and for pulling Beyonce’s fragrance commercial from daytime TV because of suggestive “body movements” has taken another bold stand against what it considers “overly sexual” images used in advertisements. The Daily Record is reporting that the ASA will be tightening advertising content codes and applying a particularly stringent set of standards to any advertisements posted within 100 yards of schools or nurseries. Nurseries? Are their really British toddlers capable of recognizing sexual innuendo?

The British agency released the following statement over the weekend:

“The protection of children from inappropriate or harmful material sits at the heart of our work and the Advertising Codes. We are signalling a tightening of our approach in light of new evidence we have received from the public on what is acceptable in terms of sexual imagery on posters, and also is response to a Government commissioned report into the commercialization and sexualisation of childhood, the Bailey Review.”

The ASA has issued a very specific set of guild lines for what the new addition to the Advertising Code would consider unacceptable. The agency has said that these new regulations are designed to target sexual images so images such as a man without his shirt on or a woman in a bikini will still be allowed so long as they are not posed a sexually suggestive nature. Some excerpts from the ASA’s list of images that will NOT be acceptable include:

– Amorous or sexually passionate facial expressions

– Exposure of breasts, including partial

– Poses such as hands on the hips, gripping of the hair in conjunction with a sexually suggestive facial expression

– Images of touch oneself in a sexual manner, such as stroking the legs or holding/gripping the breasts

– Suggestion in facial or bodily expression of an orgasm

Call us crazy but those five points alone seem to describe more than 95% of fashion ads in the market today. It would seems that the long and short of this new regulation is that if you are advertising clothing near a school in Britain then you had better be selling overcoats or parkas and even then your models better not look like they are enjoying it.


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