On social media, Adidas advertises its sports bras using images of dozens of women’s breasts. The advertising regulator in the UK thought the ad might be offensive and banned it. It can still be seen on the brand’s Instagram page and user comments are divided between those who think it is a purpose of the female body and those who appreciate diversity.
The caption of the publication – from February on the Adidas Women’s Instagram page – reads: “Breasts of all shapes and sizes deserve tailor-made support and comfort. Hence our new range of sports bras with 43 styles.” And he concludes: “In sports, everyone should feel free and motivated to achieve their body.”
The content was removed from the streets and various media outlets after the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) determined that it would be offensive. In addition to one publication on social networks, two were also excluded. the posters Similar images of women 62 and 64 were accompanied by the caption “The reason we don’t just make a new sports bra”.
The regulator received 24 complaints alleging that the nudity used in the ad is a way to sexually display a woman’s body and “reduce it to just one part”. quotes the bbc, Other complainants argued that the advertisements on the street could be seen by children. On Twitter, the ASA does not believe that the way women are portrayed – by covering their nipples – was sexually explicit. However, it was stipulated that publication should be directed to a specific audience in order to avoid offense to the general public.
This is why it justified ordering the removal of advertisements in different media, as they appeared in spaces without a defined target audience and were at risk of being seen by children. Adidas made it clear that it wanted to “reflect and celebrate different shapes and sizes, describe diversity and demonstrate how important bras with the right support are”.
In addition, the brand states, the images were cropped to protect the identity of the models, who voluntarily participated in the ad and are in line with the brand’s objectives. But the reaction of women on social media does not seem to be supportive. “This is not the right way or the right place to use the concept body positivity”, commented a user. “As a woman, it is clear that this company has no understanding of what it is to sexually exploit and object to a woman. I recommend that no women buy Adidas products again until we release an ad selling men’s sports underwear with similarly explicit images of men,” suggests another woman in the comments. On the other hand, there are those who praise the “representation of women of all shapes and sizes” and conclude that “there is no need for censorship”.
Since 2019, the regulatory authority has been strict with sexist content. The rules apply to all advertisements that suggest that a certain activity is exclusive to boys or girls only, or that judge a certain body type. The new system, effective July of that year, also provides that the public can report campaigns to the regulator if they believe they are not up to standards – as was the case with Adidas.