Officers Club promo ad banned for sexism

Menswear retailer Officers Club 1979 has been slammed by the advertising watchdog for running an in-store promotion featuring sexist imagery.

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The in-store material promoted a competition to win a “lads’ holiday” to Ayia Napa and was displayed in all Officers Club outlets.

One image showed three girls smiling at the camera and was labelled “Ayia Napa 2011” while the second image showed only a woman’s torso in a small bikini top and was labelled “Awesome views”. The text below said “Start 2011 with a bang!”

Complainants labelled the ad offensive because they believed it objectified women, while some also thought it was inappropriately placed and could be seen by children.

The retailer acknowledged that it had received a “very small” number of complaints and these had been resolved by removing part of the imagery.

It added that the images were chosen “to reflect the nature of a so called ‘lads’ holiday’ to Ayia Napa”. It considered the materials “mildly provocative” but not indecent.

The Advertising Standards Authority says that the sole focus on a women’s chest was gratuitous and likely to offend women and ruled that the ad must not run again.

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