In the press ad, a second woman, dressed in her underwear, touches her upper thigh while pointing a camera at the couple. The copy accompanying the ad said: 'Tanner Krolle London Bags To Covet'.
Tanner Krolle, the London fashion accessories brand, claimed that the couple were embraced in a clinch but could not be having sex because the man was wearing trousers. It said that the ad was part of a launch to revamp its brand to appear sexier and more edgy.
The designer firm maintained that sexy images of women, men and couples were common in magazine features and advertising.
Similarly, Vogue claimed that it featured editorial photography of a similar nature.
The Advertising Standards Association has asked Tanner Krolle to avoid using a similar approach in future because the ad was ambiguous.
It said because the ad looked as though the couple could be having sex, it could be considered sexually provocative and gratuitous, which may cause offence to some readers.
If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.