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A UK tights company has had their advert on London’s tube system censored after it was deemed inappropriate to show the female dancer’s bare back.
Heist Studios original ad campaign featured a female dancer in a pair of their tights, with her naked back facing towards the camera.
The company were forced to alter the image however, as it had apparently breached Transport for London’s guidelines that ban “nude or semi-nude figures” being advertised in an “overtly sexual context.”
In an email from Exterion Media, who are employed by Transport for London, they requested that Heist alter the original advert, by adding some form of “boob tube” to the woman’s back to prevent it from being categorised as “topless.”
"Whilst I know this is only showing a bare back, it still depicts a ‘topless’ model,” the email seen by the Evening Standard said. “If we could add a boob tube around the back I think this would be passed."
The original ad (left) was censored with an added boob tube (right). Image: Heist
Ellie Howard, Heist’s Head of Community, said in an interview with British newspaper Metro that they didn’t see the ad as being offensive in any way.
“We were asked to darken the image around the dancer’s bottom for more coverage, which we were happy to do,” she said. “But we do not understand why it is ‘overtly sexual’ to show a woman’s back.”
Questions have been raised by some as to whether the toned back, leaping athletically across the middle of the advert, would have had the same censors placed on it had it been a male’s back.
“Must be a lot of offended men at Transport for London who are really jealous of a highly trained and fit female back,” wrote one Facebook user.
But while many have come out in support of the tasteful depiction of the dancer’s athleticism, the original advert is still banned and London commuters remain shielded from the supposedly inappropriate image.
“If we’re not allowed to show women in their underwear without it being in a sexual context, how are we ever going to present an alternative representation of women?” Howard said to the Metro.
The Protein World ad that sparked controversy in 2015. Image: Twitter
It’s not the first controversy that has arisen in London tube’s ad world, with a campaign by Australian company Protein World being banned in 2015 for causing body image issues.
The ad featured a slim model in a yellow bikini, alongside weight loss pills and the caption “Are you beach body ready?”
The ad, which received more than 400 official complaints, had received clearance from Exterion Media but was eventually banned.
Exterion Media said at the time they had obtained advice from the Advertising Standards Authority, who in turn said that they, “did not consider the image of the model would shame women who had different body shapes into believing they needed to take a slimming supplement to feel confident wearing swimwear in public.”
This article first appeared on honey.nine.com.au
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