The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld more than 100 complaints about a poster for Lynx men’s shower gel, and five internet adverts for Lynx Dry Full Control deodorant, agreeing they were likely to cause widespread offence as they portrayed women as sex objects.
The shower gel advertisement, which was on a poster circulated in July, depicted a bikini-clad woman under a shower at a beach, with the headline: “The cleaner you are the dirtier you get.” It attracted 113 complaints.
The ASA said the poster “was likely to cause serious or widespread offence”, particularly to members of the public accompanied by children, because it objectified women.
A further 15 complaints were pointed at a summer internet advert campaign for Lynx Dry Full Control deodorant, which featured glamour model Lucy Pinder in a series of provocative poses.
The lads mag model was seen wearing very little and flashing her cleavage in a series of provocative video ads that hark back to the 1970s.
Pinder was eating an ice lolly, stripping wallpaper or bending over an oven door in the five ads, which were shown on sites including Yahoo, Hotmail and Spotify.
In one, there were various close ups of the model’s cleavage, while on-screen text invited viewers to ‘Play with Lucy’ and gave the Lynx website address.
The deodorant is made by multi-national manufacturer, Unilever.
The ASA concluded that the adverts were degrading to women and irresponsible because they had been placed on two websites, Rotten Tomatoes and Anorak, which “were not protected through age verification or other similar targeting”.
A spokesman for Lynx said: “As an advertiser we strive to be responsible and observe strict guidelines for all brand communications. Lynx adverts often provoke diverse reactions and opinions but it is never our intention to cause offence.”
However, the spokesman added the products are designed for men aged 17-27 and “had been had been popular over the years for its playful, sexy, tongue-in-cheek take on the ‘mating game’ narrative”.
He said further than consumers had “come to expect, and were comfortable with, the narrative, tone and content seen in their ads … designed to be playful, sexy and humorous but not to cause offence”.