Ad ruled offside because of expression on naked models’ faces

An outdoor poster for skin brand Ella Bache has failed to win approval because of the expression on the naked models’ faces.

Ella Bache

The approved Ella Bache ad

ella bache banned

The unapproved Ella Bache ad

However, a version featuring the models smiling has received the nod instead.

Ella Bache today described the move as “one of the most curious decisions in recent advertising history”.

The ruling came from the Outdoor Media Association which offers a service to its members – most of Australia’s large outdoor advertising companies – of assessing whether an ad is likely to fit in with the industry’s voluntary guidelines.

If a member asks the OMA for advice, it is then obliged to follow it, and not post a billboard that it is advised it could breach the guidelines.

The process is separate to the industry’s Advertising Standards Board which makes rulings if a member of the public complains about an ad which has run.

Ella Bache described the OMA advice as inexplicable. The company’s creative director Faie Davis said: ” This bizarre decision is the epitome of political correctness, indicating that as a society we are becoming very fearful of putting a foot wrong, with the result that stymies creative thinking. In the past we have produced ads approved with nude men and women hugging and kissing, yet now we have an industry self-regulator now making judgments on the different sexual mores of a smile or serious expression of models.”

The campaign is the first for Ella Bache since Davis rejoined the company a few weeks ago.

But Charmaine Moldrich, CEO of the OMA told Mumbrella that she stood by the organisation’s call. She said: ‘Sometimes it’s a fine line. We felt that the image where they looked happy and in control they are empowered, but we felt that the image where they are staring down the camera they are more sexualised.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.