Ad watchdog bans strip club poster because it may show nipple

The advertising watchdog has upheld a complaint against an outdoor ad for a Townsville strip bar  featuring a buxom woman in a low cut top, despite the club claiming that what appeared to be a nipple was in fact “corruption in the electronic image”.

The poster for the Santa Fe Gold nightclub features the woman with the message “I’m waiting. xxx”.

One complaint to the ASB said: “This ad is completely degrading to women, showing a large cleavage and implying she is available to be oogled (sic) and ‘available’.”

The ruling comes at a sensitive time for the outdoor industry in Queensland, with the Outdoor Media Association currently battling a push for new legislation in Parliament. The controversial ad featured in local paper The Townsville Bulletin late last wek.

townsville bulletin santa fe

How The Townsville Bulletin reported the story

Upholding the complaint, the ASB ruled: “The majority of the Board considered that in connection with the text ‘I’m waiting’, the sexual nature of the business and the sexualised image of the woman, the advertisement presented the woman in a manner that was subservient and degrading.”

It went on: “The Board noted that the advertisement is above a car park which is used by patrons to family restaurants and entertainment centres and so it is likely to be viewed by a broad audience which would include children.

“The Board noted that the woman was wearing a bra or low cut top. The Board agreed that the neckline was very low and that the nipple of the woman’s left breast was seemingly exposed. The Board agreed that although it is difficult to determine exactly whether the nipple is visible, the first, likely impression and perception is that there is an exposed nipple and that the position of her breast would suggest that that is where the nipple would appear anatomically. The Board considered that the low cut top exposed the majority of the woman’s breasts in a sexually suggestive manner.”

Santa Fe Gold responded: “Clearly the decision of the board is predicated on a belief that the ‘nipple was seemingly exposed’. The board also agreed that it is difficult to determine exactly whether the nipple is visible. Santa Fe did not intend for the Advertisement to show any part of a woman’s nipple or areola and it was surprised to read of the board’s findings in that regard.

“Whether a nipple can be seen or not is subjective to the viewer. This is clearly recognised by the board itself.

“It appears there has been a corruption in the electronic image that led to the formation of the Advertisement. This may explain the appearance of areola to some board members.”


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