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Freeview Playboy ad banned by ASA for featuring ‘scantily clad women in overtly sexual positions’

Outdoor ads by Playboy urging the public to rescan their Freeview box in order to receive the Playboy channel have been banned by the ASA because the images of ‘scantily clad women in overtly sexual and provocative poses’ were likely to be found offensive by the public.

The ads were also deemed irresponsible by the ASA, after one complaint was made, because the ads could easily be seen by children.

An image on the side of a lorry stated "RE-TUNE YOUR FREEVIEW BOX TO GET US!" and pictured the top halves of four women with their cleavages showing. One was dressed as a policewoman, another as a Playboy bunny, one held her finger between her clenched teeth, and the fourth smiled at the viewer. The image on the back of the lorry also stated "RE-TUNE YOUR FREEVIEW BOX TO GET US!", with a picture of woman dressed in stockings, high heel shoes and latex bodice, leaning backwards against a chair with her head back and eyes closed, and one leg raised and bent backwards.

The campaign also included images on the front and side of a cab.

Playboy argued that ‘the images were cheeky rather than sexual and there was no descriptive text which brought undue attention to the nature of the service’, but the ASA ruled that the company must ‘exercise caution’ when planning outdoor ads.

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