Catalogue mailout banned for featuring ‘inappropriate’ images of models drinking and on a bed
A Jack Wills catalogue mailout featuring images of young people drinking and partying in their underwear has been banned by the
UK advertising watchdog for being too sexualised for young teenagers.
The clothing brand featured a range of images of scantily clad young models partying in its spring catalogue.
The promotional text referred to “flirty delicate laces”, “it’s what’s underneath that counts” and “midnight mischief”.
The Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint from a parent who believed
the images were unsuitable in a catalogue targeting and seen by teenagers.
Jack Wills defended the images, saying that they “reflected the life stages” of its target audience, 18- to 24-year-old
university students, and that the group depicted were on a weekend away … enjoying a pyjama party”.
It claimed the ads were not “overly sexual or encouraging underage sexual activity”.
Jack Wills added that the catalogue was personally addressed and sent to the mother who complained, not her children.
The ASA said that younger teens were likely to have access to the ad in the catalogue
and they would appeal to them because they “portrayed a lifestyle to which they might aspire”.
The watchdog said that the sequence of images in the catalogue was “sexually suggestive as
opposed to simply being flirtatious or playful”.
“We understood that younger teenagers could have both direct and indirect access to the catalogue,” said the ASA.
“Because we considered the images and text were sufficiently sexualised to be inappropriate
for that audience, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and that it breached the [advertising] code.”
It said the ad must not appear again in its current form and told Jack Wills
not to use sexualised images and text inappropriate for younger teenagers.