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Boohoo advert banned for ‘objectifying and sexualising women’

The ASA has banned Boohoo’s latest advert after claims it was ‘sexually suggestive’ (REUTERS)
The ASA has banned Boohoo’s latest advert after claims it was ‘sexually suggestive’ (REUTERS)

Fashion retailer Boohoo has been slapped with an advert ban by the UK's watchdog after it was accused of using "sexually suggestive" imagery.

The British online fashion retailer fielded an advert showing a model in an oversized T-shirt and thong-style bikini bottoms which the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) deemed "offensive, harmful and irresponsible".

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received several complaints about the Boohoo promotion and concluded that it "objectified and sexualised women". The advert "was therefore irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence".

The new promotion by the online clothing retailer included a rear view of the model as well as an upper-body shot that showed her lifting a T-shirt to reveal her stomach and side.

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

“For those reasons, we concluded that the ad objectified and sexualised women. It was therefore irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.”

Boohoo removed the images from its website before the publication of the ASA ruling.

A Boohoo Group spokesman said: "We are disappointed by the findings of this ruling because we pride ourselves in our inclusive, body-positive imagery.

"Our marketing reflects the vibrant and confident culture of our brand and is not designed to intentionally cause offence.”

The latest ASA decision against Boohoo follows an October 2019 ban after the retailer used the phrase "send nudes" in its email advertisement campaign.

The company put the phrase in a message sent to promote a range of clothes coloured to resemble skin, but the ASA found these adverts would commence a "potentially harmful social trend".

Boohoo shares fell 2p this morning in London, down 2.1%, to 92.08p.