Sexist scrap ads banned

Eric France 'Censored' advert
Eric France 'Censored' advert

A SCRAP metal firm’s ‘sexist and demeaning’ adverts have been banned.

Scantily-clad women promoting the services of Eric France Scrap Metal Merchants have been a regular sight on the back of the district’s buses for around five years.

But a watchdog has ruled that some of the adverts portrayed women as sexual objects and bore no relation to the advertised product.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) upheld five complaints against seven adverts which were displayed on buses in April.

Its ruling said the adverts were sexist and demeaning to women and likely to cause offence.

The ruling said: “We considered that the sexually provocative poses of the women in the ads had the effect of making them appear sexually available.

“We therefore considered that the women in the ads were portrayed as sexual objects or commodities that could be purchased.”

Blue Pencil Writers, which designed the adverts for Eric France, explained that idea was to show how recycling of scrap metal could pay for a positive, enjoyable and fun lifestyle.

A spokesman for Blue Pencil Writers said he accepted that the use of models had no relationship to scrap metal and the firm’s response to the ASA was “somewhat tongue in cheek”.

He said: “The truth is, the target market is mostly professional tradespeople, men between 18 and 50, and they like looking at attractive women.

“Whether it’s right or wrong is not my position to decide, I just want to get the best result for the client.

“Perhaps the use of scantily clad women doesn’t relate to scrap, but what does a gorilla playing the drums have to do with chocolate? A gorilla in scanty underwear perhaps would have been banned.”

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