Read our new manifesto
22 - 26 March

Festival for a rapidly changing world

Topics include: Direct to consumer / E-commerce / Data & privacy / Martech

MAC escapes ad ban for 'sexually suggestive' Miley Cyrus ads

MAC Cosmetics has avoided a ban on a series of adverts featuring Miley Cyrus that showed the controversial singer in a 'sexually suggestive' pose.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recieved three complaints about the ads, which ran at a shopping mall and on the London Underground, for being offensive and unsuitable for display in a public area where children are present.

The poster adverts showed Cyrus wearing a low cut bodysuit lying on her back with her legs apart against a mirrored wall looking into the camera. One of the posters partially showed a reflection of her crotch in the mirror.

MAC said that the ads formed part of the cosmetic company's Viva Glam campaign, which aims to celebrate life and encompass the diversity of MAC. It stated that brand spokespeople were “iconic stars” who were provocative, different and influential and appealed to various communities, which included Cyrus.

MAC believed that the ads were consistent with the ASA’s statement on sexual imagery in outdoor advertising and didn't feel they were overtly sexual or unsuitable to be displayed in a public area.

The ASA said the posters were "sexually suggestive" and that while some people might find the posters "distasteful" Cyrus was mostly covered up.

"We considered that the images in all three posters were sexually suggestive, we concluded however, that they were not overtly sexual and unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence," the ASA said in its ruling.

No further action was necessary.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis