ASA rules adverts 'neither salacious nor titillating'

MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 17:51 20/08/2012

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A television advert that mentions the words ''vagina'' and ''discharge'' is one of a host of ''sexually suggestive'' ads that have had complaints against them thrown out by the Advertising Standards Authority.

In rulings published today, the authority said it would not proceed with complaints against ads for Carefree Acti-fresh Panty Liners, New World, and Sealy Beds, which were accused of not being fit for family viewing.

The Carefree ad is presented by a woman who appears naked and says: "that bit of discharge in between our period is our body working to keep the vagina healthy."

One complainant said the words "vagina" and "discharge" were not necessary. "I have a 9-year-old who is up until 8pm-8.30 and he definitely does not need to hear words like that."

Others said the pairing of a naked woman with the word vagina was overly sexual.

The authority said that while people may be uncomfortable about the direct way the subject matter was discussed, there was nothing offensive when taking into account the product being advertised.

It also noted that while it appeared the woman was naked, she was shown from a distance, her genitalia was not visible, and her appearance was neither "salacious nor titillating".

The New World ad began by showing a couple waking up after a night out, who take a trip to the supermarket together before going on a picnic and falling in love.

One complainant said they did not want their children watching ads that ''so obviously condone casual sex'' at 6.30pm.

''This is family viewing time. I am raising teenagers and try[ing] to install self respect and caution around promiscuity.''

The authority said that the while the ad showed a couple at the likely beginning of a relationship, it did not, in itself, promote casual sex, promiscuity or one-night stands.

The Sealy beds ad asked the question on-screen: "what do we do in bed?"

It then looked through various windows in an apartment building, showing scenes like a man playing guitar, a woman putting coats on the bed at a party and a couple kissing.

One complainant said, ''two naked people making out in the Sealy bed'' [sic] was not suitable for early in the day.

The authority said that although the depiction may have been suggestive, the section of the advertisement was fleeting and was not explicit.

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- The Dominion Post

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