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Political Correctness vs. Free Speech


2022: Oct-Dec

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Hairy bushes at ASA...

Advert censor bans bikini line grooming advert deemed to be demeaning to women


Link Here12th October 2022

A post on the Facebook page for Lee Andrews Male Grooming, seen on 21 June 2022, featured a cropped image of the lower half of a woman wearing a string bikini, lying on a beach. Pubic hair was seen to protrude from the bikini. Above the image, text stated, When spring comes and your [sic] not ready.

A complainant, who believed the image objectified women, challenged whether the ad was offensive and harmful.

Lee Andrews Male Grooming confirmed over the telephone that they believed the complaint was unfounded and did not objectify women.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA noted that Lee Andrews Male Grooming provided grooming services and that, although their name referred to male grooming, they also provided waxing services for women, including bikini line waxing. We therefore acknowledged that the image was not entirely irrelevant to the service they offered.

However, we noted that the image was cropped from the waist down, removing the woman's head and making her groin and pubic hair the dominant focus of the image. We considered that focus used the woman's body to draw attention to the ad, and, in combination with the text in the ad, did so in a way that presented pubic hair as undesirable and the woman in the image as a subject of mockery. We considered that the image was likely to be seen as objectifying and demeaning women.

For these reasons we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Lee Andrews Male Grooming to ensure that future ads did not cause serious or widespread offence by objectifying women.


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