Jewellery and watch manufacturer Accurist has been slammed by Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for its “irresponsible” use of a young girl in a “suggestive, sexual way” in a print ad.
The ASA has upheld a complaint that the ad – created by Malcolm Moore/Deakin Blayze – was offensive and irresponsible and was likely to appeal to those who may abuse children.
It is not the first time that Accurist has been rapped for a controversial ad campaign. Four years ago, it was accused of mocking people with eating disorders when an ad by TBWA/London featured a skeletal model wearing a watch on her upper arm with the strapline “Put some weight on”. The ASA upheld more than 80 complaints about the ad, saying that it was irresponsible.
The latest ad – for a necklace – appeared in Marie Claire magazine. It featured two pictures of a heavily made-up young girl alongside a cutting torn from a magazine about a child beauty pageant which included the words: “I’ve chosen Libby’s clothes, make-up, hair colour, tanning regime and jewellery. She does have a mind of her own though.”
Attached to the necklace was a label saying: “Accu2 silver. Unfussy, individual, solid silver jewellery because mother does not always know best.”
Accurist claimed it was trying to criticise the pageant phenomenon, not promote it, but the ASA concluded people would not necessarily understand the intended meaning.