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ASA bans overly sexualised Pretty Little Thing advert

Tom Shearsmith
05 February 2020

An advert for fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing, which featured women wearing exposing lingerie has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for being "offensive".

The YouTube ad presented the firm's products in an "overly-sexualised way" and depicted women as sex objects, according to the regulatory body. The ad in question was seen as a pre-roll advert on YouTube, starting 29 October 2019.

The advert in question shows various outfits, including high-waisted chaps-style knickers and a transparent mesh bodysuit, with a woman crouched with her legs wide apart to reveal string bikini bottoms. The advert continues with the woman shown holding a neon bar behind her shoulders in a highly sexualised pose which accentuated her breasts.

The regulatory body said: "We considered that the cumulative effect of the scenes meant that, overall, the products had been presented in an overly sexualised way that invited viewers to view the women as sexual objects. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and was irresponsible."

PrettyLittleThing said in a statement that it “had not intended to create an ad which was deemed offensive and irresponsible”, and that it “worked hard to promote a positive and healthy body image that was inclusive and empowered women”.

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