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ASA Ad Ban Marketing

Re:Nourish ad featuring soup-obscured penis banned

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 6, 2022 | 3 min read

An “offensive and irresponsible” soup advert depicting a naked man whose genitals were obscured only by a strategically-placed bottle has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Penis

Re:Nourish soup’s poster campaign showed a naked man with only a bottle of soup to protect his modesty

Re:Nourish soup had hit city-center streets with a poster campaign depicting a bold model lying side-on to the camera, with only a bottle of soup to protect his modesty – leaving a bad taste in the mouths of some members of the public who considered it likely that children would see it.

In its defense, Re:Nourish said that its #nothingtohide campaign model was in fact wearing underwear behind the superimposed product and that the two city-center locations had been carefully chosen to “avoid causing offense based on local sensitivities.”

This stance brooked no sympathy from the ASA, however, which upheld the complainant’s case, ordering that the “irresponsible” ad should not be repeated in its present guise to prevent “serious offense.”

In a statement, the ASA wrote: “While we considered the pose was only mildly suggestive in nature, we noted that most of the man’s head was cropped out of the picture, which invited viewers to focus on his body. We also considered the text ‘#nothingtohide’ was likely to be understood as a pun about nudity, which some might also consider sexually suggestive.

“Further, we considered that this line, in combination with the placement of the bottle over the man’s naked crotch, would be understood as a clear reference to male genitalia. Taking the image, the ‘#nothingtohide’ strapline and the placement of the bottle into account, we considered that the ad was likely to have the effect of objectifying the man by using his physical features to draw attention to an unrelated product.”

The decision follows moves to end the objectification of men and women in advertising and a move by the city of Stockholm to ban sexist ads.

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