The ad was shown at 9.32pm and had been cleared by Clearcast with a 9pm scheduling restriction. However, one viewer complained because the ad was shown directly after a film that was likely to attract audiences below the age of 16.
The ad, which was created by Havas Worldwide, did not contain nudity or sex but it did show scenes of couples in sensual embraces and that, alongside the tone of the voiceover, heightened its sensual nature, said the ASA.
The ASA decided the ad was broadcast at an unsuitable time because it was scheduled around a programme commissioned to appeal to children, including those less than 10 years old. ZenithOptimedia did the media planning and buying for the campaign.
The Broadcasting Code requires broadcasters to exercise responsible judgement on the scheduling of ads, which the ASA ruled Sky had broken in this case.
Sky apologised for any offence caused but said it had analysed the predicted ratings of previous films scheduled at that time, which indicated levels well below the proportion of children that would require further restriction.
However, Sky said it would ensure the Durex ad or any others like it would not be scheduled around a film with a potentially young audience in the future.