A two minute video on the Newbridge Silverware website for the eShe Jewellery range featured a model wearing various pieces from the range. The poses and movements of the model were sensual and the clothing worn was predominantly low cut and revealing. Two examples of scenes featured in the video are as follows:
One of the scenes in question featured the model wearing a kimono which was open to, and tied at, the waist together with one of the neck pieces from the range. She was partially draped backwards, leaning on a table with one leg raised as if perched on a stool, whilst holding onto a ceiling lamp with her head tilted backwards.
In another scene, the model was sitting on a couch wearing a strapless yellow dress and two of the neck pieces. While both her legs were not visible in the scene it was obvious that they were spread apart as one leg was visible as it was raised into the camera range. The model was shown drinking a cocktail and at one stage she dips her finger into the cocktail and licks her finger.
The complainant considered that the imagery used in the advertising video was based on sexual images of women and was promoting women in a sexual way rather than promoting the jewellery. She considered that the poses, the facial expressions and the clothing were all objectifying women in a sexual way.
The advertisers stated that their jewellery was very much the focus of their video campaign and that each frame focused on the jewellery the model was wearing. They stated that it was never their intention to objectify women as women were their primary target for the product range. They stated that they compiled the video in order to show the movement of the jewellery and its wear-ability and ultimately, to drive sales for the range.
They also stated that as jewellery was designed to be worn and that was why it was shown on the model. They stated that they had created the video to showcase the collection to its utmost in a fashionable and aspirational setting. The range of jewellery was targeted at 25 – 35 year olds which is younger than their target customer of over 35 year olds which was why the campaign was different to their mainstream campaigns and why their current face of Newbridge was not used.
They did not consider that the campaign had caused widespread offence and they stated that they took into account public sensitivities when they were compiling the campaign as they did not wish to cause offence but wanted to resonate with their target audience. They referred to the fact that logos and a url was included in the video to show that the intention of the video was to sell the range of jewellery.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that only one complaint had been received in the matter, however, they considered that the poses taken by the model were overtly sexual in nature and were therefore provocative. They considered that the advertisement was exploitative of sexuality and in the circumstances they considered that the advertising was in breach of Section 2.19 of the Code.
The advertisement should not appear in its current format again.