ASA bans ad for Porsche garage for objectifying women

Leeds-based Strasse said it did not consider ad would cause widespread offence.

Strasse: argued that model was empowered by power tools
Strasse: argued that model was empowered by power tools

An ad for Porsche specialist garage Strasse has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for objectifying women. 

The ad watchdog upheld a complaint that the ad was degrading and sexist towards women. It featured a woman wearing a fitted mini-dress and brightly coloured heels, positioned underneath a car, surrounded by car tools and a handbag, accompanied by the text: "Attractive Servicing." 

It ran in the 911 & Porsche World magazine, published by CH Publications, on 28 February. 

Strasse argued that the model in the ad was fully clothed and was empowered by the addition of power tools. The "attractive servicing" copy, Strasse said, was in relation to its attractive prices compared with those of competitors.

The company said it did not consider that the ad contained anything that was likely to cause widespread offence on the grounds of sex and that it had received no complaints about it. 

However, the ASA upheld the complaint because it said by using a suggestive image that bore no relevance to the advertised product, the ad objectified women and was likely to cause serious offence to some people.

The watchdog said: "We considered the phrase 'attractive servicing' would be understood to be a double entendre, implying the woman featured in the ad was the 'attractive' part of the servicing, and considered this was likely to be viewed as demeaning towards women.

"We considered that although the image was only mildly sexual in nature, when combined with the phrase 'attractive servicing' it had the effect of objectifying women by using a woman’s physical features to draw attention to the ad."

It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.

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