Adidas ads to ‘celebrate different sizes’ banned after ‘explicit’ complaints

Ads for Adidas sports bras featuring bare breasts have been banned in the UK for “explicit nudity”. The sportswear brand shared campaign images online in February, showing 20 breasts of different skin colors, shapes and sizes in a grid format.

Adidas said in a Twitter post: “We believe women’s breasts of all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort. That’s why our new range of sports bras contains 43 styles, so that everyone can find the one that suits them.

Two posters showed similar cropped images of 62 and 64 women and read, “The reasons we didn’t create just one new sports bra. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 24 complaints about adverts claiming the use of nudity was “gratuitous” and “objectivized women” by sexualizing them, “reducing them to body parts”.

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Some complainants also questioned whether the ads were appropriate where they could be seen by children. However, Adidas UK said the images were meant to “reflect and celebrate different shapes and sizes, illustrate diversity and demonstrate why tailored support bras matter”.

The brand said the images had been cropped to protect the models’ identities and ensure their safety, adding that all models had volunteered to be in the ad and supported its aims. Twitter said the post was reported by some users, but was not found to violate its terms of service.

The ASA said: “While we did not consider the way the women were depicted to be sexually explicit or objectify them, we did consider the depiction of bare breasts to be likely to be considered explicit nudity. . Because the ads contained explicit nudity, we felt they required careful targeting to avoid offending viewers.



The campaign was to promote the different ranges of sports bras at Adidas

Referring to the two posters, the ASA said: “We considered the image unsuitable for use in non-targeted media, particularly when viewed by children. We have concluded that (the posters) were inappropriately targeted and were likely to cause widespread offence.

Regarding the tweet, the ASA said: “We noted that content commonly featured on Adidas’ Twitter feed promoted their women’s activewear and considered explicit nudity to be non-compliant. to their usual content. Because (the tweet) contained explicit nudity, we concluded that it was likely to cause widespread offense in this medium. We therefore concluded that the advertisements violated the Code.

Adidas said: “The creation of the gallery was designed to show how diverse breasts are, with different shapes and sizes showing why tailored support is paramount. Importantly, the ASA’s decision was related to the use of this creative in a non-targeted way on email/banner ads/etc rather than the creative itself and the message, which we proudly support, and that it is displayed on adidas.com.”

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