ASA bans 'balls out' rock ad

An outdoor ad for 1980s parody rock band Steel Panther, which contained the text "Balls Out", has been banned by the advertising watchdog for being "overtly sexual".

Steel Panther: 'balls out' campaign is banned by the ASA
Steel Panther: 'balls out' campaign is banned by the ASA

The poster ad campaign ran in October 2011 and featured the image of a woman wearing a skimpy halter neck outfit, along with the text, "Balls out".

The ad, created in-house, attracted a number of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), including one from Imkaan, a charity for women from ethnic backgrounds who have been victims of abuse and violence.

The charity said the ad was offensive because it was demeaning to women and overtly sexual in nature. It argued the ad was unsuitable for public display, where it might be seen by children.

Universal Island Records, the band's record label, said the ad was intended to be "ludicrously over the top", in keeping with the band's tongue-in-cheek persona.

The music label said it was not meant to be offensive to women.

Universal Island Records admitted that more care could have been taken when they chose the posters' sites, but they were not meant to cause offence.

The label said it would take greater care in future where children were likely to see the poster and whether they would be suitable.

The ASA said it had noted Universal Island Records' argument that the poster was supposed to be viewed in tongue-in-cheek. But it ruled that most people would not view the poster in this way and even if they had, the poster was "overtly sexual" when taken as a whole.

The ASA ruled that given the ad's placement in a range of public locations, it was likely to cause serious and widespread offence, and was unsuitable to seen by children.

Steel Panther 'Balls Out' campaign

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Share

1 Is John Lewis losing its retailing crown?

Following a series of news stories highlighting issues such as job cuts and payments below the minimum wage, is the shine coming off John Lewis? Or is this simply a readjustment process that any major retailer might have to endure to emerge stronger?

Making media fun again: why we must free our industry from outdated models
Shares0
Share

1 Making media fun again: why we must free our industry from outdated models

The industry needs an audience-first media revolution that balances brand and outcomes, writes Mindshare's global chief executive.