Modern Marketing Brand Safety

Pretty Little Thing removes sexually-offensive jeans image following ASA complaint

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By Dani Gibson | Senior Writer

June 21, 2022 | 3 min read

Fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing (PLT) has been hit with a ban following a product listing that was claimed to sexually exploit women.

The offending listing was for a pair of jeans, seen on www.prettylittlething.com, showing an image of a woman wearing the garment, with the front unzipped showing the top of her underwear. The woman was wearing nothing on her top and her hands were crossed over her chest to cover her breasts.

The brand claimed that it strives to use inclusive, body-positive imagery and communication. It said that it takes body positivity and freedom of expression very seriously, and the image aimed to empower its customers to increase their self-esteem.

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PLT also explained that it embraces diversity, empowerment and freedom of expression when shooting its models. Although PLT believes that the images in the listing aligned with its approach, it acknowledged the issue raised and agreed to remove the images from the website.

The ASA concluded that the images objectified the woman due to the first image not being relevant to the product being advertised, and the second not showing her face, which removed her individuality and drew the viewer’s attention to her chest.

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CAP Code regulations state that marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society. They also must not contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offense.

It adds that particular care must be taken to avoid causing offense on the grounds of gender, and marketers are urged to consider public sensitivities before using potentially offensive material.

For these reasons, the ad must not appear again in its current form.

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