Agent Provocateur blasted for exposing children to fetish gear

Agent Provocateur has drawn the wrath of the advertising watchdog for exposing children to a video of women in fetish gear terrorising a half-naked woman in a nightgown.

The creative from the lingerie brand's Halloween campaign featured women in sexy lingerie terrorizing a woman dressed in a nightgown that exposed her breasts.

The content of the ad had previously been cleared of misogyny by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in March.

But it has now been censured after one person complained it was irresponsibly hosted on a website accessible by children.

The ad watchdog ruled the ad contained "erotic and fetish type scenes" that some viewers would not find suitable for children.

It has decided to enforce an age restriction because the "sexually and at times distressing" nature of the video and the potential for children to share a web-link easily meant it was inappropriate for display on an openly-accessible website.

Agent Provocateur has agreed to put a brief warning on the video.

A spokesperson for Agent Provocateur said: "Agent Provocateur understands that not all of its content will be appreciated by every viewing audience and out of respect to this one complaint have decided to put a brief warning before this particular video to ensure viewers are alerted to its content."

"While we do not wish to offend we do hope to provoke, something the majority of our customers value us for."

An ASA spokesman said it did not investigate the online advert’s inappropriateness for children during the original investigation because it "can't tack on its own challenges".

However, the ASA is now insisting the ad can not reappear again unless suitable precautions are taken to avoid it being seen by children.

The spokesman added that the decision was influenced by the Bailey Review into the sexualisation of childhood because it is now "taking a tougher line on concerns about advertising and children".

Agent Provocateur provided a response for the original investigation into the ad but did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries into the investigation that has just concluded.

Consequently, the ASA has warned Agent Provocateur it must respond promptly in future after raising concerns after raising concerns about the brand's "lack of response and apparent disregard for the code".