Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Blurred Lines speaker ad restricted

An ad featuring Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines has been ruled too sexual to be broadcast before 7.30pm

A television advert featuring singer Robin Thicke performing his controversial single Blurred Lines has been given a screening restriction following 97 complaints about its sexually suggestive scenes.

The ad for Beats Pill speakers showed Thicke and three female models dancing and interacting with the product, including scenes showing the women dressed in see-through nurses' uniforms over their hot pants and crop tops and one woman kneeling on her hands and knees with a Beats Pill laid on her back.

The soundtrack featured the song's refrain: "I know you want it, you're a good girl, can't let it get past me, you're far from plastic, talk about getting blasted, I hate these blurred lines."

Complainants said the ad was offensive because it was sexist, objectified women and was degrading to women, while others said it was inappropriate to be broadcast at a time when children would be watching because they believed it was overtly sexual.

Beats Electronics International said the ad was not intended to be offensive or to encourage any inappropriate stereotypes, adding that the women were confident, self-assured individuals who were "not subservient to the male character".

It said the dominant images were of the product being used as dumbbells, a hotdog, binoculars and medicine, which were "strong, playful images that most viewers would not see as having any sexual connotation".

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said: "While we accepted that some viewers might find elements of the ad distasteful, particularly the shots of the women's bodies with their heads obscured and the shot of the woman on all fours, we considered that those shots were brief, and when taken as a whole, the ad did not show sustained, overtly sexual or provocative behaviour. "

However, the ASA ruled that the overall tone of the ad was sexual, and concluded that it was not suitable for broadcast before 7.30pm.

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