Sexy poster curbs “tricky” to implement, says ASA chief

Limiting the number of outdoor advertisements that appear outside schools will be “tricky” to implement, according to the advertising watchdog’s boss.

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Earlier today (6 June), a Government-commissioned report from Mothers’ Union chief executive Reg Bailey called for advertising watchdogs to limit the number of billboards containing risqué images placed near schools, a recommendation backed by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Guy Parker, chief executive of the Advertising Standards Authority, told Marketing Week that work needs to be done to establish a framework for judging ads that are sexually suggestive.

He adds that a recent “responsibility deal” between the alcohol industry and Government that will see a ban on billboards for drinks brands appearing within 100m of schools is “black and white” but Bailey’s proposal is “not nearly as clear cut”.

“There is a potential for inconsistency because one poster company might have a different opinion to another”, he adds.

Parker says he will work with the Outdoor Media Centre on implementing the changes.

In a statement, the OMC agreed that implementation could be difficult.

“A key issue is the matter of what constitutes a sexualised image. Without evidence based research, it is hard to provide very clear guidelines to creatives at agencies and to the advertisers themselves”.

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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