Ads for major clothing retailer banned on sexual images children might see

Two online ads for clothing retailer Diesel and two ads seen in the Color Hole 3D app were banned for including overtly sexual images where they could be seen by children.

The clothing brand’s ads, seen in March on the Independent and Sky News websites, included a slideshow of images of couples kissing, some gaping and on beds, along with the caption “Diesel for a successful life “.

The second commercial included a video with shots of couples kissing and starting to undress in sexual positions, including partners in bed together.

Three viewers complained that the ads were irresponsible because they included overtly sexual images in an untargeted medium where they could be seen by children.

Diesel said they did not consider Sky News or independent newspaper websites to be likely to be particularly appealing to children, or that they would be likely to be seen by children. Diesel also said the images represented genuine “real-world human intimacy” rather than sexual images, and felt that the use of nudity was not free.

Confirming the complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the images were sexually suggestive, rather than explicit, and Diesel “should have taken all reasonable steps to exclude children from the target audience.”

The ASA acknowledged that neither the Independent websites nor Sky News were particularly appealing to children, but Diesel should have used age-based and interest-based targeting tools to ensure that the ads were intended for adults and away from children.

The regulator said: “Because the ads included sexually suggestive images and Diesel failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure that they were not shown to children, we concluded that the ads were irresponsible and violated the code. “

A separate ruling involved two ads seen in the Color Hole 3D app in March that contained graphic sexual imagery.

A parent, whose 11-year-old daughter saw the ads while playing on the app, complained that they were offensive and inappropriately targeted.

The ASA said “unknown persons” trading as Gumtree for Sex did not respond to its inquiries.

Good Job Games, the app developer of Color Hole 3D, said the ad violated their own internal policies and was not approved by them for display on their app. They said they took immediate action to remove advertising from the games.

He told the ASA that the advertiser fraudulently obtained access to his site using the domain name of a well-known e-commerce site, which allowed him to go through both his own measure security and by that of the ad exchange platform without its content being reported. . They said they have taken steps to block advertisers to reduce the possibility of a similar event in the future.

The ASA said the ads containing “extremely graphic sexual imagery” were seen while playing the Color Hole 3D app, which was a simple puzzle game that could be of interest to a general audience, including children.

The ASA said: “We noticed that the advertisement was seen by the complainant’s 11-year-old daughter while she was playing the app.

“Because the advertisements contained extremely graphic sexual imagery and were delivered in a medium that would have general appeal, including to children, we considered the advertisements to be likely to cause a serious and widespread offense and had been targeted in such a manner. inappropriate. “

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Anne G. Cash