The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have warned Diesel (London) Ltd today that if their ads contain sexually suggestive imagery, “they must take all reasonable steps to ensure that they are not seen by children.”
The ASA received three complaints after “sexually suggestive” ads run by Diesel were seen on the Independent newspaper and Sky news websites the latter being a video that played automatically. The video advert contained shots of couples kissing, undressing and straddling each other in bed, while the Independent’s website advert depicted partners kissing in bed. The complaints questioned whether the ads were responsible since they were published in an untargeted medium where they could be seen by children.
Diesel responded to the ASA saying they “did not consider that Sky news or the Independent’s website would be of particular appeal to children” or that the ads may be seen by children.
The company also stated that the images were chosen to represent a “celebration of love in all forms after a prolonged period of separation” and “they depicted real world human intimacy rather than ‘sexual’ imagery.”
Diesel added, they had targeted the ads to adults by selecting interest-based targeting options relating to preferences and types of products, but they had not used any age-targeting options.
The ASA upheld the complaints and considered that, whilst not sexually explicit, the images were sexually suggestive.
The ASA said: “We acknowledged that neither the Independent nor Sky News websites were of particular appeal to children, and that the websites were more likely to be viewed by adults. However, we considered that there were likely to be some children in the audience of both websites and that Diesel should therefore have used age and interest-based targeting tools to ensure that the ads were targeted to adults and away from children.”
The ASA’s ruled: “Because the ads included sexually suggestive imagery and Diesel had not taken all reasonable steps to ensure that they were not served to children, we concluded that the ads were irresponsible and breached the Code.”
They have told Diesel that the company must take all reasonable steps to ensure ads of this nature are not seen by children.