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Nobody's Child receives ASA ban for 'sexually suggestive' posters featuring young model

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By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

March 30, 2016 | 3 min read

A series of out of home ads for ethical fashion brand Nobody's Child have been banned by the ASA for "sexualising" a young model.

Nobody's child ad

The "irresponsible" posters received three objections over the poses and facial expressions of the model pictured, with complainants saying the images "sexualised someone who they considered appeared to be a child."

The billboards, which were made in-house by the brand, depicted a woman resting on the arm of a sofa looking directly into the camera with her mouth partially open.

Another saw the model sitting in an over-sized chair with one leg slightly raised and her hands clasped together. Both images were accompanied with the hashtag #NobodysChild and larger text detailing the company's URL.

Another complaint claimed that the brand name on the ads implied the image was of a "vulnerable child".

Nobody's Child said that while it appreciated that the images were open to interpretation, they believed the model had not been sexualised and noted that she was 21 years old.

It also stated that the brand name aims "reflect the feeling their target audience experienced, that they were no longer children and were now their own person".

The ASA upheld the complaints, noting that poses and gaze in both ads were "mildly sexually suggestive" and that the model's stance in the second ad "suggested vulnerability," saying that she appeared to be younger than her age.

"We concluded that the ads were irresponsible and likely to cause serious or widespread offence," said the watchdog, instructing that they must not be shown again in their current form. It requested that future ads from the brand "did not sexualise those who appeared to be a child and depict them as being vulnerable."

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