Watchdog finds Lonsdale sportsware ad guilty of sexualisation

A complaint against sportswear company Lonsdale has been upheld by the advertising standards board for failing to treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity.

The complaint said Lonsdale’s billboard was “highly” offensive for having topless women in a sporting ad when “the women could easily have at least a sports bra on to advertise the brand”.

Lonsdale’s billboard features images of both men and women in different poses wearing different types of sports apparel.

One of the images includes a woman wearing boxing gloves which are raised to cover her breasts while another image shows a topless woman lying on top of a topless man.

The Ad Standards Board agreed the billboard did not degrade or exploit women as it didn’t use “sexual appeal in a manner that is considered both exploitative and degrading”.

In relation to the woman holding boxing gloves over her breasts, the board said the image was not degrading as she has a confident stance and is “in control”.

However, the ad watchdog upheld the complaint as the billboard was visible to children and using “a half naked woman to promote [sportswear] is not relevant”.

The company did not respond to the complaint or reply to the ruling, forcing the ad standards board to chase Lonsdale for “compliance”.

Last week the Australian Association of National Advertisers tightened its rules around sexual appeal in advertising.  Mumbrella understands this ruling was not affected by the revised code of ethics.



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