ASA slams ‘demeaning’ Harvey Nichols shoe ad

Upmarket department store Harvey Nichols has been rapped for a demeaning advertisement showing the lower legs of a woman in labour wearing high-heeled gold sandals.

Earlier, the Knightsbridge store was charged with demeaning women after it ran a poster featuring a woman wearing a dog’s lead.

The latest ad, a national press execution through Travis Sully Harari, shows a doctor holding a new-born baby and includes the line: “A new shoe department is born.” There were 11 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority which ruled the ad demeaned women and trivialised “the serious matter of childbirth”.

Safeway has been criticised for a regional press campaign after a complaint from Tesco in a tit-for-tat battle between the two rivals. Tesco complained that Safeway denigrated its brand by using the headline “Mum says Tesco isn’t very good at sums” with misleading price comparisons.

The campaign was created by Bates Dorland in response to an ad by Tesco which Safeway thought included an unfair selection of products for comparison. The headline was “It all points to Tesco”.

Promoters of the show “Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance” will have to make it clear in ads that the star will not be appearing after a ruling by the ASA. The authority upheld a complaint against Triple A Entertainments from a member of the public who knew the dancer had retired, and objected to the implication that Flatley would appear in the show.

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