Times Newspapers has been given a warning by advertising watchdogs
following allegations of blasphemy over an ad featuring a bikini-clad
woman tied to a wooden cross.
The Advertising Standards Authority, which received 140 complaints about
the ad, has told the group it must never use such tactics again.
The row blew up after the ad appeared in The Times to flag a six-part
photographic series called ’Heavenly Bodies’ in The Sunday Times
Objectors claimed the Terry O’Neill picture was tasteless, provocative
and offensive to Christians.
Times Newspapers argued the picture reflected O’Neill’s view that the
60s was a decade that crucified womanhood. But the ASA claimed most
readers would be unaware of the photograph’s origin and motivation.
At the same time, the ASA has cleared Boots of causing offence over a
magazine ad carrying the headline ’How Boots Instant Imaging saved my
marriage.’ J. Walter Thompson produced the ad showing a removable
print-sized picture of laughing women, one of whom was touching a male
The picture could be pulled off to reveal an enlargement of part of the
picture showing just two of the women laughing.
But the Firetrap clothing company has been censured over an ad which
appeared in Manchester United’s official magazine. The ad carried the
line: ’Do not squeeeeze the trigggahappymuvafuka in me. Fuk this
Meanwhile, the ASA has cleared Royal Mail over an allegedly misleading
direct mail promotion for a limited edition of stamps marking 50 years
of the National Health Service. The OgilvyOne mailshot carried the line:
’50 years of the NHS. Now’s your chance to save it.’