ASA investigates ‘sexist’ lastminute ads

Lastminute.com is set to come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority following a spate of complaints against a press and poster ad that shows a close-up photo of a woman’s breasts, clad in a white bikini top, with the tagline “Forget sandcastles, play in the dunes”.

Another execution shows a woman’s legs and bottom, with the strapline “Go where the sun does shine… more beaches. hotter deals”.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is investigating the complaints. The CAP Copy Advice team had advised lastminute.com that the headlines were likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad has triggered 11 complaints of sexism so far. The campaign is also been objected to on the grounds that it is unsuitable for children. A few complainants objected that the ad was offensive because it was situated near a mosque.

A lastminute poster campaign earlier this year attracted complaints after it was accused of mocking Christianity. The campaign used the strapline: “And on the sixth day Mary didst flee the office for a humbly priced trip to New York. And she shopp’d til she didst hobble in her kitten heels.” The ASA did not uphold the complaints.

The ASA has upheld a complaint against a Vodafone press ad for mobile phone business tariffs that stated: “Free calls between your company mobiles…”. T-Mobile objected that the claim was misleading because the calls are part of a contract package that carries a monthly charge.

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