A Lynx outdoor ad featuring a woman with her bikini top undone has been banned by the advertising watchdog for objectifying women and irresponsibly using material on media that could be viewed by children.

The Advertising Standards Authority has also banned a series of online ads for Lynx featuring glamour model Lucy Pinder, which ran on sites including Yahoo and Rotten Tomatoes, for being ‘likely to cause widespread harm and offence.”

The poster attracted 114 complaints for being degrading to women and unsuitable for children, while the online ads received 14 complaints for the same reasons.

Lynx brand owner Unilever attempted to justify the ads by saying people expected the ads for the deodorant aimed at 17-24 year old men to be about how the product made the wearer attractive to women in a “light-hearted tone.”

The FMCG giant said CBS Outdoor had specifically approached CAP Copy Advice before running the poster ad to check its suitability and had received a recommendation who advocated caution.

However, the ASA says CAP clearly advised if the ad went ahead it would be referred to the watchdog who would be likely to ban it.

Meanwhile, Unilever said the online ads showing Pinder doing various things like getting dressed and eating whipped cream off her finger wearing cleavage revealing outfits, featuring the strapline “What will she do to make you lose control” was not degrading to women as she was shown as “confident and in control.”

However the ASA said the ads were provocative and “would be seen as degrading to women,” and were therefore “likely to cause serious and widespread offence.”

The move to uphold complaints about material unsuitable for children comes after the watchdog has vowed to crackdown on overtly sexual ads following the publication of the David Cameron endorsed report by Mothers Union chief executive Reg Bailey in May.


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