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Advertiser: Steeltech Sheds Ltd.
Medium: Internet (Company's Instagram page)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 3.3, 3.17, 3.18, 3.20, 3.26, 3.27, 3.29
The advertisement was posted on the advertisers’ Instagram account and consisted of an image of a woman and a UK male State figure alongside various captions.
The woman was shown leaning over a desk to work on a laptop. The man, standing beside her, is shown leaning over to view the woman’s buttocks with a smile on his face. Written at the top of the image was the caption ‘Work From Home – Away From Creepy Co-Workers’. Towards the bottom of the image, the brand name was written: ‘Steeltech – Home Offices’.
The complainant considered the advertisement to be in poor taste.
Issue 1: The complainant said the advertisement was offensive to victims and survivors of sexual assault/abuse.
Issue 2: The complainant said that the advertisement had used a person’s likeness without their permission.
The advertisers said that upon receiving notification of the complaint, they removed the advertisement. They confirmed that, going forward, advertisements have to be signed off prior to being published publicly.
Research by the Executive showed that the advertisement had not been removed at the time indicated by the advertisers to the ASAI Executive and remained on the advertisers’ Instagram account for a significant period of time.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
Issue 1 – Upheld:
The Committee considered that the advertisement depicted a woman being leered at and that this was exploitive and not in line with the Code requirements that marketing communications should respect the dignity of all persons. In light of this, the Committee concluded that the advertisement was in breach of Code Sections 3.17 and 3.20.
Issue 2 – Upheld:
The Committee noted that evidence that permission had been sought from the man depicted in the advertisement had not been received. In the circumstances, they considered the advertisement to be in breach of Code Sections 3.27.
Action Required: The advertisement should not reappear in its current form.