UK Authority Bans T-shirt Ad That Sexualised Women: 5 Things About The Controversy

The Boohoo ad controversy involves the "sexualised" depiction of a model promoting an oversized t-shirt while wearing thong-style bikini bottoms.

Tanvi Akhauri
New Update
shopping behaviour, Boohoo Ad Controversy, Online Shopping
Ad authorities in the United Kingdom have reportedly issued a ban on certain ads by a brand it said sexualised and objectified women. Fashion retailer Boohoo came under fire this week after an ad for its t-shirt products for women went viral, triggering outrage. The model for the ad was shown dressed in an oversized shirt, listed on the brand's website since last year, and bikini bottoms.

One of the images on the product catalogue showed her kneeling with her legs apart in the bikini and t-shirt. Regulators Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) noted these as "sexually suggestive" and said, "neither the partial nudity nor the bikini bottoms were relevant to the product."

Following the ASA complaint, Boohoo has removed the concerned images from its website, as per reports.

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Boohoo Ad Controversy: Here's What Happened


1. The oversized t-shirt product was listed on Boohoo's website in November last year, as per Daily Mail. The ad showed the model controversially, in thong-style orange bikini bottoms that showed off her bare legs. In another photo, she was pictured lifting the shirt.

2. Reports suggest the product was slotted under the swimwear category but ASA pointed out that it showed up in the t-shirt category as well. The ad authority mentioned that the product was not advertised in a way that it would be usually utilised.

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3. "For those reasons, we concluded that the ad objectified and sexualised women. It was therefore irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence," ASA said in a statement. It further advised Boohoo to make ads with a "sense of responsibility" that did not end up offending or objectifying women.

4. A spokesperson for the brand responded saying they were left "disappointed" by ASA's findings since they committed themselves to body positivity imagery. Their marketing was "not designed to intentionally cause offence." The ads have since been removed.

5. This is not the first time Boohoo has been rapped by ASA. According to the BBCthe brand came under fire in 2019 for a promotional ad that used the phrase "send nudes." The authority called out the ad back then, saying it would impact young minds and influence them to exchange sexually explicit content.

ad controversy objectification Sexist ads sexualisation of women