Should This Bikini Advert Have Been Banned? (Video)

July 14, 2017

shocked looking woman

A advert for bikini line shaving products has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it was found to likely cause “serious or widespread offence”.

shocked looking woman

The Femfresh advert featured women dancing whilst wearing briefs and swimwear.

Shown on ITV and Channel 4 on-demand services earlier this year, the advert included close-up shots of the women’s crotches.

That was enough to get 17 complaints which alleged the advert objectified women.

A Difference of Opinion

This was denied by Church & Dwight UK – the brand which owns Femfresh – who believed that as the advert was for an “intimate shaving object”, it meant that the advert wasn’t offensive or socially irresponsible.

It said it was aimed at a target audience of 18 to 34-year-old women and that the close up shots were merely to show how the product was successful at giving a smooth bikini line.

ITV and Channel 4 did not receive any complaints themselves about the advert and agreed with Church and Dwight UK’s contention that it was fine.

But the ASA decided that the dance sequence was “highly sexualised”. This was due to there being “few shots” of the women’s faces and the high-cut swimsuits “were more exposing” than what you would usually find.

“Even taking into account the nature of the product, we considered that it had been presented in an overly-sexualised way that objectified women,” the ASA said.

“We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and therefore breached the code.”

It ruled that the advert must not appear again in its current form.

I have to say, I am not sure where I stand on this one. Yes, it was a sexy advert, certainly a lot more intimate than you would usually expect on mainstream TV. However, this is a product which sorts out the bikini-line, wouldn’t it be rather stupid if the bikini-line wasn’t shown?

Is This an Overreaction?

What I will say is that we have millions of people in this country, and only 17 people complained. It could be argued that these are the ‘perceptually offended’ who will find offence at anything. Should we really be changing anything for a couple of moaning gits?

Still, I don’t agree with objectifying women. I have a daughter myself so would hate for her to be only viewed through one lens. However, there is nothing wrong with women looking sexy. I sometimes think certain feminists want women wearing bin bags. I kid you not.

But most importantly, what do you think? Should this advert have been banned? Is it an overreaction? Or does this advert actually objectify women by focusing too much on the crotches of the dancer? You can let us know what you think in the poll below.

Martin Ward
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