Regulator slams ad for sensationalising self-harm

LONDON - A magazine ad for Blade climbing shoes depicting a woman who appeared to have cut her leg with her shoe has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

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The ad, headlined "Reality… or not?", featured the woman holding a climbing shoe after apparently using it to slash her leg.

Two people who believed the ad showed self-harm complained it was irresponsible, while a further complainant felt the advertiser was being unnecessarily sensationalist by using the image merely to attract attention.

Calzados Boreal, the manufacturer of the shoe, said the ad was intended to demonstrate the sharpness of the product for its intended purpose of technical rock-climbing.

Boreal and Climb magazine, which ran the image, apologised for any offence caused and confirmed the ad would not be used again.

The ASA considered that the purpose of the ad was not immediately obvious to readers and that the image could be seen to depict self-harm. The ad must not appear again in its current form.