Is This Shoe Ad Campaign Offensive? British Authorities Have Banned It

The United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority has ordered that a sexually suggestive advertising campaign be amended. The campaign in question is by British men’s footwear label Goodwin Smith.

The ads, featured on the label’s website and social media channels, include a film depicting fully dressed men partying with topless women. One image shows a topless woman holding a pair of shoes with a caption reading “Fancy a Pair?”

After receiving nine complaints from the public, the ASA was prompted to investigate. It deemed the campaign, in its original form, sexist, degrading to women and likely to cause serious offense.

sexually offensive ad
A screen grab from the campaign.
CREDIT: Goodwin Smith

In a statement, authorities said: “We considered that in the ads the men were portrayed in a manner viewers were likely to interpret to mean that they were successful, suave and aspirational. In contrast, we considered the women to have been portrayed in a subservient position – for example, throughout the video the men remained fully clothed, whereas the women wore either only a nude colored thong or a lingerie set.”

The company was instructed to remove the ads in their current form and ensure it was “socially responsible” in the future. One scene that was removed from the film featured a lingerie-clad woman on her knees with a man shooting banknotes into her face. A cut version of the film remains on the label’s website.

Model Jasmine Jardot, who took part in the campaign, spoke out on Twitter, saying: “I was one of the models on this shoot. I didn’t feel degraded at all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time on set and am proud of being part of this campaign.”

The company, based in Lancashire, targets men 22 to 45. Its tagline reads “bucking good shoes.” Still offensive? You decide.

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