Vegan soup ad banned because of ‘objective’ nude model

An advertisement for vegan soup has been banned in the UK because censorship authorities believed it had objectified a nude model.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority censorship has banned an ad for vegan soup over allegations it would objectify a nude model.

The ad – a still image – in question shows a nearly naked man with a soup bottle covering his genitals, with the tagline “#NOTHINGTOHIDE” ostensibly referring to the soup’s ingredients, which the company appears to claim meet the “standards of the soup brand”.

While the company claims to have taken steps to “minimize violations”, the British advertising authority – which has banned a large number of advertisements in the UK in the past for a plethora of often outlandish reasons – announced that it would launch the ad on Wednesday. had banned the image of soup sales as “irresponsible” and “probably seriously offensive”.

“Considering the image, the “#nothingtohide” slogan and the placement of the bottle, we felt that the ad would likely have the effect of objectifying the man by using his physical features to draw attention on an unrelated product,” the advertising watchdog stated in a message explaining its statement.

“We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and would likely cause serious offense to some people,” the organization concluded.

The UK advertising authority is known for its liberal use of its censorship powers to ban ads, having gone as far as banning “idealized” depictions of women in 2016 and gender stereotyping in 2019.

Since then, the authority has repeatedly banned ads over accusations of being “irresponsible” in portraying thin people, and for perpetuating “harmful gender stereotypes” by portraying a mother with a baby.

The ASA went so far as to ban an ad portraying a young woman for using the term “girl boss,” which it deemed “sexist” and “patronising.”

“We felt that using the gender term ‘girl boss’, rather than just ‘boss,’ implied that the gender of the person depicted was relevant to their performance in a managerial or entrepreneurial role,” the censorship watchdog wrote in its statement. statement.

“Moreover… the use of the word ‘girl’ to refer to an adult woman reinforced the impression that a female ‘boss’ was a novelty, playing her part and somehow less serious than a man in the same position,” the statement continued.

“…for the reasons given, we concluded that the ad had the effect of reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes and was contrary to the [Advertising] Code,” the authority concluded.

The ASA also noted that the company responsible for the ad had since had their ad team undergo “training” to ensure they “considered wording…that could be misinterpreted or could be offensive.”

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