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Missguided rapped by ASA for ‘presenting women as sexual objects’

By John Glenday | Reporter

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March 4, 2020 | 3 min read

A poster displaying a female model wearing only tights and a blazer has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for ‘presenting women as sexual objects’.

The image was on display as part of an advertising campaign for retailer Missguided, which peppered railway stations in November last year.

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Missguided has been rapped by the ASA for ‘presenting women as sexual objects’

Missguided defended the poster ads, claiming that “promoting and encouraging female empowerment was extremely important to their business“, and that the designs “enabled their customers to be bold and brave.“

However, the ASA observed: “We considered she would be seen as being in a state of undress and that the focus was on her chest area and lower abdomen rather than the clothing being advertised.

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“We also noted that her head was tilted back, with her mouth slightly open, and her leg was bent and raised, which we considered was likely to be seen as a sexually suggestive pose.

“We considered that the sexually suggestive styling and pose would be seen as presenting women as sexual objects. Because the ad objectified women, we concluded that it was likely to cause serious offence.”

As a consequence, the advert has now been banned and must not appear again in its present form.

Missguided has already sparred with the ASA over sexual content in its ads, after it published a video-on-demand ad during Love Island. In the spot, a variety of bikini models struck provocative poses with the legend: “If you plan on wearing clothes this summer … we’ve got you covered … kind of.”

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Missguided is a UK-based multi-channel retailer selling clothes aimed at 16-35 year old women. The company's collections include tall, petite, lingerie and nightwear ranges.

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