ASA gets knickers in a twist over M+S ads

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has released its latest set of judgements on the nation’s naughty ads.

This time Marks and Spencer’s is in trouble for a couple of lingerie ads that adorned London buses a couple of months ago

Three complaints were noted, arguing that the ads objectified women and were unsuitable for viewing by children.

The ASA conceded that, since the ads were for lingerie, if was fairly reasonable that they seen as being worn by otherwise naked women and, thus, not objectifying women.

The ASA also conceded that both ads were “only mildly sexual in nature” but the fact that – in one – the women’s legs were wide apart, her back arched and one arm above her head with the other touching her thigh” – and that she was wearing stockings meant that it was of an “overtly sexual nature”and therefore “socially irresponsible.”

Complaints about the other ad were not upheld, and described as a “woman lying on her side” and “kneeling on a bed” – the former showing a woman with “her legs slightly apart and her hands behind her head.”

Not a lot of difference there, for my money, but the latter was okayed and the former banned. It all brings to mind a room of people measuring the angle at which a lingerie models’ legs are splayed; the degree of back arching; closeness of her hands to naughty bit and so on – protractors, compasses, rulers and maps of the Mull of Kintyre at the ready.

Those Advertising Standards Authority adjudicators – what will they get up to next?