Surfstitch commercial banned by ad watchdog for ‘sexualised’ scenes

Surfstitch has had one of its ‘More Summer’ 15-second spots banned by the advertising watchdog for depicting a woman’s pubic area in a “sexual manner”.

The Advertising Standards Board said in one of the shots a woman is seen with her legs apart and although she is not shown engaging in sexual activity, the depiction “is sexualised”.

Surfstitch’s ad was aired online during catch-up television through the Yahoo 7 platform.

“The close up image of the woman’s crutch [sic] was a sexualised depiction and that the sexualised suggestion in the advertisement was a sensitive depiction for the relevant audience which would include children,” the ad watchdog stated.

Defending the ad, Surfstitch said the commercial in question is “inline with reasonable expectations of a swimwear campaign” and the closeups mentioned by the Board “are designed to show the swimwear” and not to objectify women.

“The way the model is sitting is part of the scene where she has food and slurpees on the ground in front of her and was her natural position,” the brand said in its defence.

The clothing brand also noted the shoot was styled and produced by a female who “specialises” in swimwear campaigns.

Surfstitch removed the ad from catch-up television and noted it would not air the ad through catch-up TV again, and the Ad Standards Board upheld the complaint.


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