Glazing firm hit with ad ban after breasts complaint

Derrick Findlay believes far more provocative adverts have escaped the watchdog's bite
Derrick Findlay believes far more provocative adverts have escaped the watchdog's bite
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A GLAZING firm has been baffled by a decision to ban its cheeky billboard after an 18-month advertising campaign – because of one complaint.

Bathgate-based 1st Choice Glazing has been ordered to bin its ad material, which features a naked woman standing at a window, with petals covering her breasts.

The advert also features text promoting the firm’s “massive deals”, and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rapped the company for being “irresponsible” after receiving a single complaint that suggested it “objectified women”.

The billboards – measuring 20ft by 10ft and 10ft by 10ft – have been placed around Bathgate and on the M8 for 18 months. The company has also posted leaflets around the area, as well as using the image as part of a wider promotional campaign including T-shirts and voucher books.

Today, director Derrick Findlay branded the decision “ludicrous” and said it could cost up to £20,000 to remove and replace all the material.

“I think it’s absolutely ludicrous – it’s meant to be tongue in cheek and it’s certainly no worse than most of the adverts you see for places like Marks & Spencer, or David Beckham in his pants. It’s a huge blow to us.”

The adverts were reported to the ASA by a complainer who said they were offensive because they believed the image objectified women.

In its decision, the ASA noted that “the woman’s breasts were partly covered by the flowers and that the image was not presented in an overtly sexual way” but said that because the woman’s head was not included in the image “consumers would understand . . . that they were being invited to view her naked torso and, in particular, her breasts”.

It concluded that “the image was likely to be seen to be an objectification of the woman in the ads and therefore of women in general”.

It went on to say that the adverts were “likely to cause serious offence” and that the billboard adverts were also “irresponsible” as they could be seen by children.

Last year, Edinburgh scrap metal firm Dalton Metal Recycling was rapped by the ASA over an advert which showed a woman’s bottom, after it was deemed to be “sexually provocative”.

The firm argued that the image was “of a plumber cleaning copper to sell to Dalton Metal Recycling” and said it was “trying to promote equal opportunities between the sexes”.