A Video on Demand (VOD) ad for Femfresh bikini line shaving products, seen on ITV Player and 4oD in March and April 2017, featured several women, who were wearing briefs and swimwear, dancing. It included multiple close-up shots of the women's
Seventeen complainants, who believed that the ad objectified women and portrayed them in an overly sexualised way, objected that it was offensive and socially irresponsible.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
The ASA noted that Church & Dwight had received advice from Clearcast, which set out Clearcast's view that the ad was OK for VOD. However, we noted that the advertiser had primary responsibility for ensuring that VOD ads complied with the CAP
The ad promoted products for shaving the bikini line, and given their intended use, it was relevant for the ad to focus on that area of the body and show women wearing swimwear and fitness wear that exposed it. We also noted that many of the dance
moves used in the routine reflected those that might be seen in some exercise classes. However, overall we considered that the dance sequence was highly sexualised, in the style of a music video, and featured many thrusting dance moves. The ad
focused to a large extent on the women's crotches, with relatively few shots of their faces, and some of them wore high-cut swimsuits that were more exposing than many swimsuits. Even taking into account the nature of the product, we considered
that it had been presented in an overly-sexualised way that objectified women. We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and therefore breached the Code.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Church & Dwight Ltd not to use advertising that objectified women and which was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to promote their products.