The ASA has banned the broadcasting of a Beats Pill speakers ad prior to 19:30. Starring Robin Thicke, the overall tone of the ad was deemed to be "sexual." Commissioned by Beats Electronics, the ad seemed to mirror the music video for the number one hit "Blurred Lines". Wearing only hot pants and crop tops, three models danced with Robin Thicke. With scenes including see-through nurses’ uniforms and a woman kneeling on her hands and knees, the ASA considered complaints as to whether the ad was sexist, inappropriate for children and whether the models were irresponsibly thin.
The ASA held the models were not underweight and dismissed claims the ad was sexist. Although certain scenes were "sexually suggestive", it did not show "sustained, overtly sexual or provocative behaviour". It recognised that the majority of viewers would associate the ad with the characteristics of a mainstream music video, combatting suggestions it would cause widespread offence. When viewed as a whole, Beats had not breached BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Responsible Advertising) or 4.1 (Harm and Offence). Nevertheless, the ASA did acknowledge the overall "tone of the ad was sexual" and would not be suitable for children. Breaching BCAP Code rule 32.3 (Under-16s), the ad may not be broadcast before 19:30.
The ASA has once again demonstrated its strong desire to promote the protection of children with this recent adjudication. It follows a spate of adjudications this year regarding the scheduling of ads in and around certain programmes targeted at or appealing to children, including ads for alcohol and ads which were deemed to potentially cause fear or distress.