Halfords ad escapes ASA ban following claims it had paedophilic connotations

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected a series of complaints lodged against a TV ad for Halfords which some viewers claimed was sexually suggestive.

Created by Mother, the Worst Favour advert showed two men in a garage, the older of the two fitting a battery in the younger man's car. The younger man thanked the older man, Bob, and asked if he could return the favour. While holding a paint palette and paintbrush Bob said: "There is one thing. Pose for me David. I'm tired of painting you from memory."

The final shot showed a series of paintings, including a painting of a centaur with a naked torso and David's face and also sketches of a nude man.

Viewers complained that the ad was sexually suggestive, and some of the complainants drew parallels between the ad and teenagers being groomed for sexually explicit pictures by paedophiles.

Some of the complainants questioned whether the ad was unsuitable for children to see.

Dismissing these fears however the ASA concluded that that the overall tone of the ad was supposed to be light-hearted and surreal and, while Bob was noticeably older than David, David was clearly a grown man in his twenties.

The ASA added: “Any sexual innuendo or imagery in the ad was subtle and was unlikely to be noticed by children”. No further action was required.

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