The leaflet, which doubled up as a membership application form, featured a picture of a woman wearing bikini bottoms. A blank space ran across her back for those interested in becoming members to write their telephone number. The leaflet referred to:
“ABSOLUTE FRIDAY” and
“C.A.K.E – CRAZY AMAZING KINKY ENTERTAINMENT
Space was provided for those interested in filling out the membership form for
“Name, phone number, email and DOB.”
The complainant said that the leaflet was put through her letterbox and picked up by her 11 year old daughter. She considered it inappropriate to deliver such leaflets to homes where young children may see them. She also objected to the image of the young woman used and considered it sexist and inappropriate to use in order to gain interest for the venue concerned. She reiterated that the leaflet, which featured the word ‘kinky’, should not have been delivered to her home.
The advertisers said that the leaflet, which had been distributed in their venue, in shopping malls and through a door drop by their promotional team, was an awareness campaign that ran to signal the start of summer and to help increase the membership at the venue. They said that it had never been their intention to offend anyone with their advertising and the leaflet had been designed to be bright, eye catching and to give their potential customers an opportunity to become members of the Wright Venue.
The advertisers apologised for the inclusion of the word ‘kinky’ in their advertising and said that they will not use it again. They said that they will also be more mindful of the advertising material which they use when doing door to door drops in the future.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted the advertisers’ intention to exercise greater care with future advertising. They pointed out that they should not use offensive or provocative copy or images merely to attract attention. The Committee also expressed their concern that the advertisers had not taken account of the potential audience, including children, when dropping leaflets through doors. In the circumstances the Complaints Committee upheld the complaint by reference to the provisions of sections, 2.2, 2.17, 2.21 and 5.3 of the Code.
The adverting must not appear in its current format again.