Boohoo T-shirt advertising banned by watchdog for ‘objectification and sexualization of women’

The ad, a product listing for a t-shirt on Boohoo’s website, showed a model wearing the top with only a bikini bottom and thong-style sneakers.

An ad for a t-shirt was banned because it is likely to cause serious or widespread offense or harm by objectifying women.

The ad – a product listing for a t-shirt on Boohoo’s website – showed a model wearing the top with only a bikini bottom and thong-style trainers.

The footage included a rear view that showed her kneeling, while another showed her sitting on the ground with her legs spread.

A third photo was an upper body shot which showed the model lifting the t-shirt as if to remove it and exposing the skin on her stomach and sides.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a complaint that the images objectified and sexualized women, and the advertising was offensive, harmful and irresponsible.

Boohoo said the images were in their swimwear category and explained that the model wore the t-shirt with a bikini.







The images included a rear view which showed her kneeling, another showed her sitting on the ground with her legs spread
(

Picture:

PENNSYLVANIA)


The retailer said it understood the significance of the issues raised and had removed the images from its website.

The ASA understood that although it was advertised as part of the swimwear category, the advertised product was an oversized t-shirt and the listing came up as a result of searches for t-shirts or tops .

The ASA said two of the images were “sexually suggestive”, while the image of the model lifting the t-shirt to expose her midriff and sides emphasized her exposed skin rather than the product.

The regulator added: “We also noted that neither partial nudity nor bikini bottoms were relevant to the product and the images did not show the product as it would typically be worn.

“For these reasons, we concluded that the ad objectified and sexualized women. It was therefore irresponsible and likely to cause serious offense.”







Boohoo offices on Thurmaston Lane, Leicester
(

Picture:

Leicester Mercury/Chris Gordon)


The ASA ruled that the advert should no longer appear in its current form, adding: “We have asked Boohoo.com UK to ensure that future adverts are prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and society, and that they do not cause serious problems or widespread offense or harm by objectifying women.”

A Boohoo Group spokesperson said: “We are disappointed with the findings of this decision as we are proud of our inclusive and body-positive imagery.

“Our marketing reflects the dynamic and confident culture of our brand and is not designed to intentionally offend.

“We removed the associated images from our website when we received the details of the complaint from the ASA.”

Read more

Read more

Elizabeth J. Harless