Ad Standards upholds complaints against Honey Birdette 'exposed genitals' ad

Parent plea to 'let kids stay kids'

Playboy's sex shop Honey Birdette has attracted another advertising violation after Ad Standards upheld community complaints against a shop window ad depicting a woman's exposed pubic mound.

Lakeside Joondalup shopping centre owner, Lendlease, came under fire last month for hosting children's school holiday events a short distance from the porn and BDSM-themed ad for 'Chastity - JAGUAR'.

Lendlease told a concerned community member that regarding Honey Birdette ads shown in its shopping centres, the company was 'guided by Ad Standards'. Now we find out (yet again) that all along, Lendlease was hosting an ad which violated the advertising Code of Ethics. 

We take no pleasure in saying it, but...

...we told you so, Lendlease.

Ad Standards' Case Report revealed strong community objection to children's exposure to the explicit ad. Comments from complainants included:

Its so explicit and so unnecessary. We should have a choice as to whether we see this when going to a family orientated shopping centre. This crosses a line.

Overly sexualised image that is inappropriate in a highly public space of the shopping centre where young children will be exposed to this imagery and it is developmentally damaging to forcibly expose this image to them. It’s detrimental at such a young age and honestly any age. Younger women, especially teenagers and preteens are not as emotionally and socially aware of the totally unrealistic images and many think it is something to aim for. Again highly damaging to their self esteem and general emotional well-being.

My young daughters passed this at Lakeside Joondalup today. Young children should not be exposed to pornographic images for reasons stated by multitudes of psychiatric professionals. I doubt there would ever be a case when men's testicles were exposed in the same way.

My children would never see imagery like this or be exposed to it at such a young age if it wasn’t for Honey Birdette’s disgusting and overtly sexual advertisements. Can my kids just stay kids without having their innocence stripped by the pornographic propoganda machine that spits out these posters and calls them advertising?

'No genitalia revealed': Honey Birdette defends porn themed ad

Honey Birdette responded to the complaints to say it was 'disappointed' to learn about them and that the ad did not reveal genitalia. They went on to defend the ad, claiming that in their oversized depiction of a near-naked woman with bare, exposed genitals displayed shown to all-ages audiences in family friendly shopping centres they had 'treated the subject of sexuality with sensitivity'.

Honey Birdette beats the system (again)

Highlighting the impotence of advertising self-regulation, Honey Birdette concluded:

This campaign has already ended, and the images are no longer displayed at our stores.

Ad Standards' ruling

The Ad Standards Community Panel which reviewed the ad disagreed with Honey Birdette's 'no genitalia revealed' claim, concluding that it that image was 'overtly sexual':

The Panel noted that the cut of the underwear of the image meant that the woman’s vulva was not visible, but a large amount of her pubic mound was. The Panel considered that many members of the community would find this to be a confronting level of nudity in a public space.

The Panel decided that the ad

  • was not appropriate for the relevant broad audience which would likely include children;
  • did not treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience; and
  • did breach Section 2.4 of the Code.

Corporate grooming: Lendlease CEO Dale Connor; PLBY Group CEO Ben Kohn

For the 62nd time in 10 years, Ad Standards upheld community complaints against a Honey Birdette ad.

Despite the ruling, there is no win for community members. Under the self-regulated ad system, Playboy - a corporate predator, pimp and pornographer - is free to continue exposing children to harmful, objectifying and explicit advertising.

Read the full Case Report here.

See also

Ad Standards upholds complaints against pornified Honey Birdette ads – but only because they glamorise smoking

New advertising code of ethics unlikely to rein in repeat corporate offenders

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  • Collective Shout
    published this page in News 2022-08-03 12:04:41 +1000

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