Advertising standards authorities banned a series of Adidas ads because of blatant nudity.
To promote the brand’s comprehensive sports bra range, the #SupportIsEverything campaign was created in collaboration with TBWANeboko and aimed to highlight that one style of sports bra is not suitable for many shapes and sizes.
Adidas tweeted a grid of 20 women’s bare breasts (cropped to show only their upper body).
“We believe that women’s breasts of all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort,” he tweeted. That’s why our new sports bra range includes 43 styles so everyone can find a fit that’s right for them.”
Similar images came out in the form of two posters. One showed the bare breasts of 62 women with the slogan “Why didn’t we just make a new sports bra”, and the other showed the same text with pixelated nipples along with images of 64 women.
Launched in February, the campaign received 24 complaints and mixed reactions from consumers and industry insiders.
Reporters said the use of the nudity was “very rare” and “objectified women by sexualizing them and reducing them to body parts.”
Still others feared that the poster could be seen by children, making it inappropriate for public display.
In response to the complaint, Adidas said that the imagery was not superfluous and “is meant to reflect and celebrate different shapes and sizes, to illustrate diversity and to show why custom support bras are so important.”
Adidas also claimed that the photos were cropped “to protect the model’s identity and ensure safety” in response to claims that the images reduced women to parts of the body.
TBWANeboko submitted an ad in a short step to CAP’s Copy Advice team, who advised that the imagery was not sexual or objectified. However, the use of nudity “especially in untargeted spaces” carries risks.
For this reason, Adidas has decided not to place advertisements near schools or religious places.
Twitter said Adidas’ tweets did not violate terms of service because they were organic and unpaid, despite being reported by some users.
The ASA acknowledged that the advertisement’s intention was to honestly represent the women’s breasts associated with the promotion of sports bras.
However, the ASA also noted that the main focus of the ad was not the breasts, but the bras mentioned only in the accompanying text.
The censored poster is less blatant, but the ASA has ruled that the “breast is still visible and recognizable naked.”
The ASA said: “The ads contain explicit nudity, so we thought we should target them carefully so as not to offend the viewers.”
Therefore, large posters were judged to be inappropriate because they could be viewed by anyone of any age or gender. The ASA said these ads were “improperly targeted and have the potential to lead to widespread crime.”
Also, the blatant use of nudity in tweets [Adidas’] It has the potential to lead to a wide range of crimes, including”
It was concluded that ads should not be re-displayed in their reported format due to explicit impressions. All three ads violated the CAP Code (12th Edition) Rules (Damages and Crimes) and two posters violated the CAP Code (12th Edition) Rules (Social Responsibility).
The ASA told Adidas “Make sure your ads are targeted responsibly, without being offensive.”