ASB bans ‘inappropriate’ Honey Birdette burlesque lingerie poster but clears Dita Von Teese Target ad

A poster for lingerie retailer Honey Birdette has been banned by the Ad Standards Board. (Image below possibly NSFW)   

Honey Birdette burlesqueThe poster – headlined “It’s burlesque baby” appeared in store windows.

One complainant told the ASB: “The graphic is larger than life pornography, overtly sexual in nature and is located in a family focussed shopping centre.”

Honey Birdette responded saying: “We chose this image because she is wearing more clothing than most lingerie models would wear for a photo shoot. The corset covers her stomach, stockings on legs, a bra with the added cover of opaque pasties and we covered the model with a full brief rather than a gstring. This model is in fact a local from a burlesque performance group and we chose her because she is very wholesome, not too thin and is not your standard “heroin chic” style model that we see in most fashion images these days.

“You will also notice that we steer clear of any marketing that is regularly depicted in men’s magazines. Our stores are all about making women feel safe and sophisticated.”

“To market and advertise lingerie, a certain level of skin needs to be exposed, however we do this in a way that empowers woman rather than demeans them.”

The ASB ruled: “The Board noted that the advertisement features a woman wearing red underwear and black stockings and that the advertiser states the woman‟s nipples are covered with ‘opaque pasties’.

The Board noted that the bra does not fully cover the woman‟s breasts and that the coverings placed over the nipples are clearly visible. The Board considered that the combination of the low cut bra and the ‘opaque pasties’ drew the viewer’s attention to the breasts and nipples of the woman in a manner which is not appropriate for a broad audience including children.”

On Valentine’s Day, the company organised a lingerie flashmob to walk through Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall.

The ASB also ruled on a complaint about an ad for Target featuring burlesque model Ditta Von Teese, deciding that she was not “sexually seductive”. The complainant said: “She is a well-known stripper and the pose she strikes is suggestive. I am very concerned about the sexualisation of young girls and these advertisements should be placed in a less obvious part of the store.

However, the ASB ruled: “The Board noted that it was reasonable for an advertiser to depict its products being modelled in its advertising i.e. lingerie. The Board considered that the pose of the model in the image is in keeping with typical lingerie advertising and that the lingerie fully covers Dita’s private areas. The Board considered that the image of the woman is not sexualised and is not sexually seductive.”


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