ASA to restrict sexualised posters

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Outdoor ads with overtly sexually provocative images are to be restricted under new rules announced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in response to the British government’s Bailey Review published in June. An industry panel was set up by the Advertising Association to study the report. The group has representatives from Unilever, McDonald’s, 02, Microsoft, Facebook, the Outdoor Media Centre and Mumsnet.

As well as sexual images on posters, the review investigated the use of child brand ambassadors and peer-to-peer marketing. The ASA plans to look at ads and see what is acceptable. Issues like the nature of the product advertised and locations where children are exposed to ads, like primary schools, will be taken into account.

The ban would cover images of women pulling down on their underwear in a sexual manner and couples embracing in an overtly sexual way. In 2010, the ASA received 1,856 complaints about outdoor ads, compared to 14,112 complaints about TV ads, 2,648 complaints about online ads and 1,488 complaints about press ads.

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