Semi-naked Nicki Minaj ad ruled ‘stylised’ not ‘sexualised’

An ad promoting a Nicki Minaj concert featuring an apparently naked image of the pop star has been cleared by the adverting regulator, despite sparking a complaint that it was “irresponsible” and “objectified women”.

Nicki Minaj

The poster, which appeared on the platform of a Metro station in Newcastle, featured Minaj from the bust up, apparently naked but slathered in body paint with her breasts partially exposed.

The complainant challenged whether the use of nudity in the ad was irresponsible for display in an untargeted medum where it could be seen by children and offensive because it apparently objectified women.

Live Nation, which created the ad, said Nikki Minaj was actually wearing a nude bikini in the image, which had been cropped to show only the top half of her body. The concert promoter provided the Advertising Standards Authority with the full image, which it said established the ad did not expose her breasts.

Live Nation also stated the ad did not “in any way present women as objects” and that Minaj’s “persona was central to the image and the ad” – a woman known for her “fondness of bright colours and bold prints”. Furthermore, it stated that the ad was so stylised it could not be viewed offensive or demeaning.

The ASA considered that despite Minaj’s pose in the ad and that most consumers would believe her breasts were partially exposed, the image was only mildly sexual in nature and therefore was suitable to be shown on a poster site that could be seen by children.

To the second point regarding objectification, the watchdog considered that the ad was not sexually suggestive and did not objectify women – and although it could be distasteful to some, the ASA concluded it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

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