Jack Wills ad banned for showing sexy images

Young fashion retailer Jack Wills has been slammed by the advertising watchdog for showing images of a sexual nature and partial nudity in its clothing catalogue.


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.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here