The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has banned two ads from a bathroom supplier for being demeaning to women.
The ASA ruled that the two ads, which featured a naked woman showering, were inappropriately targeted and could be considered offensive due to the woman’s “sexually provocative pose”.
The first one, seen on March 21, was part of a virtual tour on the HDS website, a Wales-based bathroom, kitchen and bedroom supplier and installer, and the second, seen on its sister-website www.wetroomswales.co.uk on May 15, showed a still image of the naked woman on the homepage.
HDS Builders argued that people didn’t shower wearing clothing and that the image of the naked woman showering was appropriate for a virtual tour of a bathroom installation.
ASA said it acknowledged that someone using a shower would be naked, but considered that it wasn’t essential to use the image to highlight a bathroom installation.
“Although the image had some relevancy to a bathroom and shower, we nonetheless considered it was likely to be seen as sexist and to demean women by using their physical features for no other reason than to draw attention to the advertising,” the ASA said in its report.
It added that it considered the pose to be provocative and could be seen to be sexually suggestive, particularly as consumers would not expect to see a naked woman either on a homepage or at the start of a virtual tour.