Missguided sought to promote its swimwear line by showcasing bikinis worn by a variety of models adopting provocative poses for viewers. On-screen text read: ‘If you plan on wearing clothes this summer … we’ve got you covered … kind of’.
The approach drew a complaint from the public that the ad "overly sexualised and objectified women". The view was supported by the ASA which considered the postures adopted by the barely-clothed models as "inviting viewers to see women as sexual objects".
Supporting this stance, the ASA observed that the ad “showed models on a beach with their legs apart in seductive poses, a woman running her hand up her inner thigh, a group of women in thong bikinis and another woman posing in a bikini with her legs astride on a motorcycle.”
Justifying its creative approach Missguided insisted that it had sought to promote a "lifestyle" not just clothing and had purposefully included the models"faces and low angle views to show ‘confident young women".
In a statement, the ASA said: "We considered that some viewers who enjoyed the programme (Love Island) would nevertheless be seriously offended by advertising that presented women as sexual objects.
"Because the ad objectified women, we concluded that it was irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.”
Missguided's difficulty follows removal of a YouTube ad for Japanese brand Loft for depicting women negatively.