Couple's sex shame football ad banned by standards watchdog

A south London football club's cheeky viral video depicting a man and woman having sex on a pitch has been banned by the advertising regulator.

The CCTV-style video, which was published on Charlton Athletic’s YouTube channel, showed the couple supposedly begin to have sex in the club’s stadium, before the floodlights are suddenly turned on.

The woman, whose chest is pixelated, quickly sits up and covers herself with her jacket.

A voiceover is then heard to say, "Fancy scoring at The Valley in May? Contact the sales team now to book the pitch for your team."

There was one complaint made on the grounds that the ad was sexist, derogatory towards women and unsuitable to be viewed by children.

FL Interactive Limited, the digital arm of The Football League, said on behalf of Charlton that they did not accept the ad was offensive towards women and it was not targeted towards children.

A PR agency was used to target a younger male audience (20- to 30-years-old) via The Lad Bible and FHM.

The ASA rejected the complaint that the ad was offensive, even though it may be considered "distasteful by some" and decided the woman featured was likely to be "embarrassed" rather than degraded.

But it upheld the complaint on the ground of social responsibility because it was widely viewable on YouTube, including by children.

The ASA ruled: "We noted that the majority of videos appearing on the channel comprised match footage and interviews with players and fans (including children), and considered that the channel was likely to attract children who were fans of the club.

"Because the ad had appeared in a place where children might see it we concluded that the ad had been irresponsibly targeted."

The watchdog ruled that the ad should not appear again on YouTube or other untargeted media.