Repeat Offender Honey Birdette's new porn-themed ad breaches takes it to record 74

Three breaches in one month for Playboy sex shop

Ad Standards has issued rulings on a new set of pornified Honey Birdette shop window ads after a series of community complaints. The decisions came just weeks after Honey Birdette attracted its 70th ad violation for breaching the Australian Association of National Advertisers Code of Ethics.

The ads were broadcast in larger than life format in family friendly shopping centres across the country, for viewing by all ages audiences.

*We have censored these ads

Two separate ads for 'Solange' featured a topless woman posed in pasties and caressing her body. In both cases, the Ad Standards Community Panel determined that the ads contained "a high level of nudity" and that the "overtly sexual image[s were] not appropriate for the relevant broad audience which would likely include children."

"Altered", "irresponsible": 'Madeline Black' ad violates body image code

In its ruling on a shop window ad for 'Madeline Black', the Community Panel stated:

the woman appears to be very thin..her arms and legs look thin, elongated and out of proportion. The Panel considered that the image appears to have been altered to accentuate the woman’s thinness, and that her body shape appeared to have been distorted in a way that was unrealistic and unattainable through healthy practices..

The Panel considered that the images had not been altered in a way that would be justified in the context of advertising lingerie.

The Panel considered that most members of the community would consider that such a depiction is irresponsible and promotes an unrealistic body image that would be unattainable through healthy practices.

Source: Ad Standards

The ad was ruled in breach of ad code of ethics Section 2.6: Advertising shall not depict material contrary to Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety.

Bondage ad "not overtly sexual", says Ad Standards

Regarding a fourth Honey Birdette ad it received complaints about for 'Madeline - black' lingerie and matching bondage gear, the Ad Standards Community Panel claimed:

the sexualised nature of the advertisement came principally from the products being advertised and that the woman’s pose though showing sexual appeal was not overtly sexual.

On that account the Panel dismissed complaints against the ad.

It's baffling to us how the Panel arrived at this conclusion. The ad depicted a near naked woman posed in sheer briefs and bondage gear; one knee is raised, giving the impression of readiness for sex. She is posed in sheer briefs; her head is tilted back, and her arm is positioned behind her choker-bound neck. Eyes closed; mouth parted - these are indicators of sexual arousal and pleasure. Considering these features, especially in the context of a pornographer-owned sex shop ad flogging bondage gear, how could the Panel see anything BUT "overtly sexual"? 

Honey Birdette ignores self regulator (again)

According to the case reports, Honey Birdette did not respond to the complaints, or to Ad Standards' rulings. This is nothing new. They've been ignoring rulings for 12 years! Ad Standards can't touch them.

Honey Birdette doesn't care about community members, the harms of objectification of women, or child safeguarding - concerns raised consistently by complainants. Why would they respond to an unenforceable decision made by Ad Standards about ads they intentionally designed, created and displayed? Ads which had likely already run their course and been replaced with new ads? (We've long highlighted how Honey Birdette's fast-fashion model of replacing ads every week or two will beat Ad Standard’s penalty-free, weeks-long complaints handling system every time.)

Ad Standards reported that "it will continue to work with the relevant authorities regarding this issue of non-compliance." It is still unclear who the "relevant authorities" are. What is clear is that Honey Birdette and parent company Playboy are free to continue objectifying and degrading women, grooming children and sexually harassing members of the public under a self regulated advertising system.

We hold Honey Birdette's corporate landlords who host the pornographer and its porn style sex shop ads responsible. We will continue to put pressure on them to stop hosting porn style ads in their family shopping centres, while also calling for a new ad system with capacity to rein in Honey Birdette.

Read Ad Standards' Case Reports in the hyperlinks below.

Honey Birdette "Solange" - Gold chain bodypiece - Complaint upheld

Honey Birdette "Solange" - Rainbow bodysuit - Complaint upheld

Honey Birdette "Madeline Black" version 1 - Complaint upheld

Honey Birdette "Madeline Black" version 2 - Complaint dismissed

See also

12 ways Honey Birdette disempowers women and girls


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  • Collective Shout
    published this page in News 2024-04-15 18:05:13 +1000

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