Boobs allowed: Bonds boobs row ruled 'storm in a b-cup'

By Rosie Baker | 18 November 2013
Bonds boobs. Storm in a B-cup.

The boobs are OK. Bonds recent 'Boobs' ad has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Advertising Standards Bureau, after it attracted complaints that it was degrading to women.

The ad, which used the familiar Bonds branding to spell out the word boobs on billboards, drew criticism that it was discriminatory, objectified, exploited and degraded women, and used inappropriate language.

Complaints included the observation that the word boobs is not appropriate for mainstream advertising because it is demeaning to women, that it is and not appropriate for children to use and could encourage kids and teens to use it inappropriately. The complaint also likened the use of the word boobs in the ad to using the word dick to advertise men's underwear.

Bonds launched the boobs campaign to mark the launch of a new range of bras that caters to a much wider range of sizes than Bonds has previously done and show that “Bonds is taking bras seriously”.

As part of the campaign Bonds changed its brand name to boobs on billboards, till receipts, in-store POS and online.

The brand refuted the complaints and says the word was used deliberately because it is “socially acceptable”. It presented research that shows the word is used by 74% of Australian women to describe their breasts. Bonds added that the term is not regarded as sexual or inappropriate but rather “innocent and playful”.

Bonds said feedback on social channels was “overwhelmingly positive”.

The Advertising Standards Bureau noted that boobs is listed in the dictionary as a colloquial term and stands by this definition. It ruled the word is not degrading or exploitative in the ad, and does not use a sexual manner.

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