An ad in the catalogue showed a group of three young women and two young men beginning to undress on a beach. One of the men was shown removing one of the women’s tops to reveal her bra. Another ad showed a young topless man and a young woman wearing only knickers embracing and kissing. In the image the side of the woman’s breast was visible.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned the four images, which appeared in the retailer’s spring 2011 catalogue, for being “overtly sexual” and “provocative”.
Jack Wills says their marketing was intended “to project a positive, fun and sometimes flirtatious” image which they believed was an accurate reflection of student life.
The company also added that consumers who had received the catalogue would have had to confirm that they were at least 18 years old when they signed up to receive the catalogues online or in one of their stores.
The ASA says that while it noted that all recipients of the Jacks Wills catalogue had confirmed they were over the age of 18 some under 18 year olds might have viewed or received the catalogue.
The body says: “We noted that each of the images contained partial nudity and considered that the fourth image in particular went beyond what could be described as fun or flirtatious. Because we understood that younger teenagers could have both direct and indirect access to the catalogue and because we considered the fourth image in particular to be overtly sexual in nature, we concluded that the catalogue was sufficiently provocative as to present a risk to younger teenagers.”