A poster, seen during June and July 2023, featured an image of the top half of model and influencer Eliza Rose Watson posing in a bra top. Text stated @ ELIZAROSEWATSON with the logos of the OnlyFans and Instagram social media platforms.
The ASA received 30 complaints:
1. All the complainants, who understood that OnlyFans was an internet content subscription service which featured sexual adult content, challenged whether the ad was
inappropriate for display in an untargeted medium where children could see it.
2. Many of the complainants, who believed the ad was overly sexualised and objectified women, also challenged whether the ad was offensive, harmful and
Eliza Rose Watson said the ad adhered to advertising guidelines and reflected trends in leading brands. The development process took over a month, during which she ensured the ad was tailored to avoid offensiveness
to mature viewers and intrigue to the younger generation. The image selected was evaluated by a diverse group, beyond those in the glamour industry. It was deemed to be non-suggestive, not harmful and less provocative than mainstream lingerie or perfume
brand advertisements. Ms Watson provided examples of ads for clothing and condom brands which she believed were shown in busier areas of London. She said that, in her experience of social media channels, radio and TV discussions, a significant majority
of consumers did not find the ad offensive.
The ad deliberately omitted any explicit website link or call to action, which was intended to veil the OnlyFans platform from those who may not be aware of it or wished to engage with
it. The use of the OnlyFans logo was consistent with its appearance in mainstream media. Ms Watson provided images of a racing car and boxer showing the OnlyFans logo being featured on their clothing and car.
Amplify Outdoor said
they never intended to cause offense by placing the ads but simply wished to provide a voice to a legitimate business that wanted to use their network. They believed most of the negative comments came with the increased media attention at the beginning
of July. They said they had received one complaint direct.
ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld
The ad featured an image of Eliza Rose Watson wearing a bra top which showed her cleavage. Her hair
was tousled over her face and her mouth was slightly open. The ASA considered that although her clothing was revealing, the image did not feature any nudity, and the pose adopted by Ms Watson was no more than mildly sexual.
also featured the Instagram and OnlyFans logos. We understood that the OnlyFans platform featured various kinds of creative content posted by subscribers to its service, including adult sexual content. Therefore, the image of Ms Watson would be
particularly relevant to the OnlyFans service, and in keeping with some of its usual content. Both the Instagram and OnlyFans logos were the standard company logos which people who were familiar with those platforms would be familiar with seeing.
Although the OnlyFans website featured explicit adult content, the ad did not feature any explicit imagery. The ad promoted Ms Watson and her business on online platforms. It did not contain anything which indicated an exploitative or degrading scenario
or tone. While we acknowledged that the image of Ms Watson and reference to OnlyFans might be distasteful to some, we considered that because the ad was not overtly sexual and did not objectify women, we therefore concluded it was unlikely to cause
serious or widespread offence.
The ad was shown on several posters throughout London, which was an untargeted medium, and was therefore likely to be seen by a large number of people, including children. However, because we
considered the ad was not overtly sexual and did not objectify women, we therefore concluded the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence and had not been placed irresponsibly.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code
(Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 4.1 and 4.9 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.