The United Kingdom banned Adidas sports bra adverts that featured images of bare breasts for showing “explicit nudity.”
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on May 11 found that a tweet and two posters by Adidas UK were “likely to cause widespread offense,” following 24 complaints.
Adidas posted a tweet in February that showed the bare breasts of 20 women of various skin tones, shapes, and sizes with the caption, “We believe women’s breasts in all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort, which is why our new sports bra range contains 43 styles, so everyone can find the right fit for them.”
Adidas also had two posters that showed similar images of 62 and 64 women.
ASA said it received complaints that the adverts objectified women by sexualizing them and “reducing them to body parts.”
Adidas UK said that the adverts were intended to “reflect and celebrate different shapes and sizes, illustrate the diversity and demonstrate why tailored support bras were important.”
The company added that the images had been cropped to protect the identity and ensure the safety of the models, who volunteered to be in the ads.
According to ASA, some complainants challenged if the adverts were appropriate for display where children could see them.
Some users on Twitter reported the post, but the social media company said that they did not find the post to be in breach of its terms of service.
In its assessment, ASA said that they did not consider that the women were sexually objectified, but the advertising watchdog did find that “the depiction of naked breasts was likely to be seen as explicit nudity.”
“As the ads contained explicit nudity, we considered that they required careful targeting to avoid causing offense to those who viewed them,” ASA said.
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