An advert for a tights company has been banned on the London Underground for showing a naked back. Heist Studios were told that they had to superimpose a top onto the model if they wanted the ad to be approved – a response they described as “bonkers”.
The advert in question showed a model leaping into the air, facing the other way, wearing just a pair of tights. While she was clearly not wearing a top, the image is decidedly non-sexual and you cannot see anything inappropriate.
“We were told to cover up the offending area – her back,” Ellie Howard, Heist Studio’s head of community told The Evening Standard. “It’s bonkers. We were very excited about sharing our image of a strong, female dancer wearing our tights, especially since women’s underwear ads are usually so heavily sexualised, but it seems that the back of a female dancer is unacceptable.”
The result was the following image, which was then approved:
Part of the reason for the strict rules when it comes to advertising is down to a pledge Sadiq Khan made to ban any ads that might cause body confidence issues for women on the London Underground. This came after Protein World’s infamous “Are you beach body ready?” campaign back in 2015.
However, Heist Studios and many on Twitter believe that this is a step too far in the other direction and is actually suggesting that a women’s back is offensive, when this judgement would never be made against men.
“There are many male dancers on tube ads who are topless and there are women in seductive poses and clothes, where there’s no agency, yet a muscly dancer’s back has to be covered,” Howard said.