Roger David's "gagged slave girl" ad continued to run after it was banned due to a technicality exploited by the menswear retailer, the Advertising Standards Bureau has said.
ASB chief executive Fiona Jolly told AdNews Roger David's continued use of the image on its website, after it was banned from email marketing, was “not in the right spirit”.
The ASB upheld a complaint to have the ad withdrawn after it circulated via email last month. But Roger David has, until this week, continued running the ad on its website because the ASB’s ruling only applied to the original email campaign.
As reported by AdNews last month, Roger David’s email campaign was banned by the ASB for depicting a seemingly underage female in an "inappropriate" and "sexualised" manner.
Jolly said: “Generally if an ad’s been banned, an advertiser should look at how it’s run in other channels.”
She said the ASB may contact the retailer about its use but added it had not received complaints about the online-only format.
After ASB board handed down its findings, the retailer said it discontinued the email campaign and pledged it "will not be used in any further advertising campaigns."
However, the image was still present on the Roger David website earlier this week and a cached Google page of the site confirms.
A complainant had written of the email campaign: "It is offensive due to its representations of young girls as vulnerable and slaves and lacks sensitivity to the growing child exploitation and sexist depiction of girls and women."
Roger David originally defended the ad to the ASB: "The woman used in the campaign was 18 years of age. The relevant audience of this advertisement is young men. Roger David strongly believes that young men would relate to this image, and would not see it as shocking or exploitative."
Roger David failed to respond to a number of AdNews requests at the time of going to press.
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