Watchdog bans 'Lancashire hotbot' poster



A billboard poster for Ann Summers has been banned after complaints it was degrading to women.

The offending advert, displayed in the North West, showed the back of a woman's torso, from her shoulders to her thighs. She was wearing a bra and a thong and her hands were handcuffed behind her back.

Alongside the photograph were the words: "Lancashire hotbot...for fashion and passion whip along to your local store."

The advert sparked 22 complaints from Lancashire to the Advertising Standards Agency (FSA).

Surrey-based Ann Summers claimed its adverts "intended to give women sexual confidence and always showed women in control of their sexuality".

The company also pointed out its support for charities campaigning against domestic violence.

The ASA, after an investigation, rejected complaints that the photograph was likely to incite violence towards women but ruled it was degrading for women, was likely to cause "serious or widespread offence" and was unsuitable for use on a poster.

However, it dismissed complaints about a second Ann Summers poster used in Ipswich which featured a photograph of a woman sitting down with her legs apart and a whip in her hand with the slogan "Whipswich...for fashion and passion whip along to your local store".


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Jan 1, 1999
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Fully agree with the authority. How can Ann Summers claim with a straight face that an image of a handcuffed woman is supposed to represent her in control of anything? It's a patently absurd assertion. May well be that the image portrayed some game and that in the wider context of that game the woman would have "control", but a single image in isolation is not able to communicate that context.