Tattoo Asylum ad banned by watchdog for ‘unacceptable attitudes towards all women’

The ad watchdog has banned a poster ad for Tattoo Asylum which features a caricature of a woman in a straitjacket with no pants on, saying the poster could be interpreted as “a depiction of unacceptable attitudes towards all women”.

A complaint said the ad was “degrading to women, pornographic, sadistic” and visible to children who pass the ad in the car.

One of Tattoo Asylum’s poster ads

Tattoo Asylum said the image is used as part of its signage and it “correlates” to the company name, ‘Tattoo Asylum’.

The advertiser also noted the black puddle underneath the woman is not urine.

“The complaint assumes that the woman is sitting in her own urine, however this is not the case.

“We have however been notified previously that it does look like urine, and we are in the process of phasing out that part of the image in our signage.”

Ad Standards agreed the ad on the window of the shop is most likely intended to link to the name of the business and “may not have been intended to be a depiction which debases a person for the enjoyment of others”.

However, Ad Standards said the intent of the image didn’t negate its negative connotations.

“The Board noted that this was a cartoon image designed to represent the building but considered that it was lacking in sufficient moral or artistic values to change the overall degrading impression of the image.

“Furthermore because the cartoon image was an idealised one, and not of a real person, it could be interpreted as a depiction of unacceptable attitudes towards all women,” the ad watchdog said when upholding the complaint.


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