Credos releases report on sexualised imagery in outdoor ads

Credos has unveiled a report for the Outdoor Media Centre, finding that the highest levels of offence expressed by respondents to the images shown matched the ads which were banned by the ASA.

Following the Bailey Report “Letting Children be Children” in July last year, the Credos report, Public Attitudes Towards Outdoor Advertising, found that outdoor advertising is bottom on the list of offensive stimuli the public are exposed to, with the internet; rap music; music videos; computer games and TV all being rated higher.

Credos asked 1051 GB adults aged 16-64 what they thought of twelve outdoor ads, four of which were banned by the ASA, with the other eight having received complaints.

It was found that while some ads provoked a strong emotional reaction, the public are generally unlikely to consider an advert so offensive that they would complain about it.

Respondents were asked to choose key words to describe each ad, out of the following list: funny, light-hearted, suitable for the product, harmless, depends on location and eye-catching.

It was found that ‘harmless’ was the word used most often, with 3466 uses, while ‘funny’ came at the bottom with 815 uses.

The perfect 10 ad was found to be the ad which offended the most people, (31% of all adults) with inappropriate, vulgar, rude, eye-catching and sexist the top five words used to describe it.

Mike Baker, chief executive at the Outdoor Media Centre said: “We are pleased that Credos have been able to provide us with a lot more knowledge and understanding of this important area. The findings should be useful to advertisers and keep creative work from straying across the line.”

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