UK

'Offensive' nude scanner app ad shown during soap banned

Some of the cast of Channel 4's Hollyoaks Image copyright Lime Pictures
Image caption Television ad for mobile phone "nude scanner" app aired during Hollyoaks banned following complaints it was "offensive"

A TV advert for a "nude scanner" mobile phone app has been banned after it was shown during a prime-time show.

The ad, which showed images of a naked woman, was broadcast during six episodes of Hollyoaks on Channel 4.

Viewers complained the advert was demeaning to women and was shown while children were watching.

The Nude Scanner 3D ad was approved by a compliance and clearance agency. But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has since deemed it "offensive".

The ad showed a mobile phone "scanning" a woman's body and included nude images, with the crotch and breasts blurred out.

Image copyright Jesta Digital GmbH
Image caption The app's developer Jesta Digital GmbH said it pulled the television ad following the complaints

The voice-over described the app as a way to "prank your friends to think you can see what any of them look like without clothes on".

'Demeaning to women'

Twenty-six people complained about the ad, with 21 saying it could be seen by children - including young teenagers.

Some said it could cause serious or widespread offence because it was demeaning to women, while others said it could cause anti-social behaviour.

Compliance and clearance agency Clearcast approved the ad, with a restriction preventing it from being shown during children's programmes.

It said the images were no more risque than ads for underwear or music videos.

It also rejected suggestions the advert condoned or promoted an unwanted "scan".

On-screen text in the commercial said the app was for entertainment purposes only and for over-16s.

The app's developer, Jesta Digital GmbH, which trades as Jamster, said it pulled the ad following the complaints.

It said it had been restricted from being broadcast during children's programmes and that it did not consider the programme in question as being targeted at children.

Vacuum cleaner

However, the ASA referred to figures from the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board, which showed the proportion of children watching the programme when the advert was viewed by the complainants was, on two occasions, above the threshold at which a programme is said to appeal to under-16s.

It said: "Because the ad focused on the product's apparent ability to enable the user to view naked images of women using the camera on their phone, and had a prolonged focus on the female model, we considered it was unsuitable for a child audience and was likely to be viewed as demeaning to women and, therefore, offensive."

The advertising watchdog also banned an ad for Dyson's smallest vacuum cleaner, after finding it misled viewers about how much space it would save in their homes.

The ad for the vacuum showed it being collapsed into itself and in another sequence, the machine was stored on a shelf in a cupboard without its hose and wand.

The watchdog said viewers could be led to believe that one of the advantages of the machine was that it could be stored in its entirety, including the hose and wand, in a small place.

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