The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled against fashion brand Jack Wills’s direct mail spring catalogue which featured images of young male and female models in their underwear drinking and dancing on a bed together.
One page featured images of male and female models in their underwear drinking, dancing and on a bed together. The copy read: “UNDERWEAR… Pure and comfortable cottons, or flirty delicate laces, whatever your choice, you can be sure it’s what’s underneath that counts.” At the bottom reads: “…midnight MISCHIEF.”
Check out the catalogue campaign here:
Another page, promoting “loungewear”, featured images of male and female models on a bed. Some of the models wore loungewear, one male model was topless on a bed with a woman while reading and another woman wore a bra with a strap falling off her shoulder.
The complaint was that the images were unsuitable for publication in a clothing catalogue that was targeted at, and seen by, teenagers. In response to the complaint, a Jack Wills representative defended the images saying the brand targeted at 18- to 24-year-old university students and not at younger teenagers.
According to the ASA website: “The images showed a group of friends enjoying a weekend away, relaxing with each other and enjoying a pyjama party. They said the images were not sexualised, provocative and did not imply sexual activity in any way. They also said none of the images featured any nudity and that none of the garments worn by the models was transparent.
“The ASA considered that younger teens might have access to the ad either directly or indirectly, and that the images were likely to appeal to those readers because they portrayed a lifestyle to which they might aspire…We considered that this sequence of images, in conjunction with the text, was sexually suggestive as opposed to simply being flirtatious or playful.”
The ASA ordered the brand to not to use sexualised images and text that were inappropriate for younger teenagers in ads to which those teenagers could have both direct and indirect access. Jack Wills said they would, in future, make it clear that consumers were required to be over the age of 18 to receive their correspondence by printing “Please note: You need to be over 18 years old to sign up for Jack Wills’ correspondence” on the opaque envelope their printed catalogue was distributed in.