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Jigsaw email ad banned by ASA for "objectifying women"
22 December 2021

An ad for fashion chain Jigsaw that featured a model climbing over a fence in her underpants has been banned for being likely to cause serious offence by objectifying women.

An email from the clothing retailer in September stated in the subject line, “These boots were made for walking”, and included a picture of a woman climbing over a fence wearing a jumper, boots and only underpants on her bottom half.

Two readers complained that the ad objectified women and was offensive and irresponsible.

Robinson Webster, trading as Jigsaw, said the image was created by an all-female team and “came from a place of celebration and freedom”.

Jigsaw said the model was wearing a bathing suit, and no other body parts were exposed because the image was focusing on the boots she was wearing.

Image issued by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)

Jigsaw said it understood that seeing the image in isolation and without the wider context might have led to it being perceived in a different way, which was not its intention. It agreed to withdraw the image from any future ads.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said: “The model’s face was not visible and, given its focus on the model’s exposed buttocks and upper legs, we considered the low-angle nature of the image gave it a voyeuristic feel.

We considered there was therefore a sexually suggestive element to the image. We considered that her partial nudity was further highlighted as she appeared to be out for a hike or walk in the woods, where people would not ordinarily be undressed in that way.

“For those reasons we considered that the ad objectified the model depicted and invited readers to view her body as a sexual object. Therefore, because the ad objectified and stereotyped women as sexual objects, we concluded that it was irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.”

The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, adding: “We told Jigsaw to ensure that future advertising did not cause serious offence by objectifying women.”

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