Wednesday, October 5, 2011

British insurance company hits PR paydirt with banned ad

The Guardian reports that a British insurance firm has been busted by the Advertising Standards Authority for an ad that is "degrading to women".

They post it in censored form, but the ASA paints us a picture: "Underneath was a picture of a woman wearing only men's boxer briefs and holding a D-SLR camera to each breast."

So here's an artist's impression:

([ ])([ ])  
The company's defence was the classic "we're equal opportunity exploiters!"

"Versatile Insurance Professionals Ltd (Versatile) said Aaduki were well known in the photographic market for the ‘Aaduki Boys’, a group of male models used to advertise the brand at exhibitions and conventions and who also featured heavily in their marketing campaigns. They said they had run a series of ads across the specialist photographic press featuring the male models in their trademark blue shorts, which were designed to amuse the reader with ‘tongue in cheek’ innuendo much like the Carry On films from the 1970s. Versatile provided copies of the ads in the series, which they believed were suggestive and naughty without being obscene."

"Versatile said the idea behind the “Confused and don’t know where to look ad?” was that they now had a girl wearing the blue shorts instead of a boy, and aimed to engage the male photographer that did not normally find their ads attractive. Versatile said they did not believe the ad was sexist or degrading to women, and pointed out that many photographic magazines featured female models, some of whom would be completely naked and a large number of whom would be topless. They said they believed the ad was no more suggestive than models in the tabloid press. Versatile argued that the ad needed to be viewed in the context of the other ads in the campaign, and that rather than being sexist or degrading to women the ad actually addressed the inequalities of their previous advertising that had focused on the male models."
Whatever. The fact is, there is no downside to this ruling for Aaduki. The target market of "amateur photographers" (don't ever GIS that) would have been unfazed by the nudity and suggestiveness of the ad, and even if they thought it was tacky they'll see the brand as a victim of nanny state censorship now.

This is why censorship in advertising usually has unintended consequences, making heroes out of what are really unimaginative and vulgar advertisers. Better to expose their tactics and mock their cynicism, in my opinion. Education, not bannination.

Thanks to @adsoftheworld for sharing the link.


  1. Insurance company are doing work all the way which is needy for protect.Versatile Insurance Professionals Ltd are give nice service for this matter.


  2. Want to offer for you a user-friendly platform to businesses and individuals to Post Free Ads.
    Get free account via Facebook Login or Post Free Ads in one click.
    Get more with free advertising at