Raunchy ads not to be banned by ASA

- Raunchy shampoo ads featuring naked couples washing each other's hair will not be banned by the industry's watchdog despite the campaign being one of the most complained-about of the year.

- Raunchy shampoo ads featuring naked couples washing each other's hair will not be banned by the industry's watchdog despite the campaign being one of the most complained-about of the year.

More than 130 people called on the Advertising Standards Authority to order its withdrawal, claiming that the ads for the Nicky Clarke haircare range were gratuitous, explicit and offensive.

But the ASA this week refused to back the objections and ruled that the ads were acceptable because they showed "adults having harmless fun".

Publicis Focus created a stir when the ads began appearing in national newspapers four months ago. One showed a girl sitting astride her partners shoulders. Another featured two men massaging each other's scalps and ran in gay publications.

The Daily Mail ran one of the ads but declined to accept others after receiving complaints. The Times and the Independent both ran the campaign without question.

The Nicky Clarke group denied the ads were explicit but said they were relevant to the product and that the reference to "partners" in the text emphasised that the featured couples were in committed relationships.

Meanwhile, Kelloggs has been ticked off by the ASA over a magazine ad linkling weight problems to school bullying.

The children's charity Kidscape was among those objecting to the Leo Burnett ad showing an overweight schoolboy above the quotation; "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names could really hurt me".

The ad claimed that "One of the most common causes of bullying in school is being fat. And there are many deeply hurtful names associated with it. Of course, a cereal breakfast like Kellogg's can't solve complex weight problems, but in its own small way it can really help."

The ASA has told Kellogg's that it must not repeat such advertising which, it says, simplifies and trivialises bullying problems and exploits the insecurities of children and parents.

But the ASA has cleared the camera manufacturer Minolta of sexual exploitation and racism. It follows the appearance of a national press ad by Wood Burden Smith & Bergin showing the stomach and upper legs of a black woman wearing gold bikini bottoms and holding a camera against her thigh.





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