Sexy Ads Raise Opposition

Advertising featuring women in lingerie may be becoming more risqué, or public morals may be getting more puritanical. Whatever the explanation, a lot of billboard cheesecake has been drawing criticism in recent weeks.

This week, a new series of ads for Sharper Image devices starring Heidi Klum was banished from Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport for picturing the supermodel in various states of undress — sometimes total — next to provocative questions like: “What makes Heidi Klum work up a sweat?” or “What does Heidi Klum play with in the bath?”

Alliance Airport Advertising, which is responsible for out-of-home ad displays in the airport, said the images violated Clark County’s advertising codes by “showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering or any portion thereof below the nipple.”



Dari Marder, the chief marketing officer for Iconix Brand Group, which created the ads for Sharper Image, responded: “We are shocked that the Sharper Image ads featuring Heidi Klum have been banned in Las Vegas — of all places. We believe the campaign is tasteful, beautiful, and, while sexy, not inappropriate in any way. The reaction to it has been fabulous to date and it is running in all forms of media without any issue.”

However, Klum fans will be pleased to know that Alliance has agreed to display revised versions of the ads submitted by Iconix, toning down the nudity, in early January.

Also this week, police in Milan forced lingerie ad company Jadea to take down a billboard ad featuring Argentinian supermodel and TV presenter Belén Rodríguez. It was judged so provocative as to represent a traffic hazard. Police cited complaints from residents who said the billboard was causing accidents because drivers were distracted by the huge image of Rodríguez removing her underwear and posing sensuously on a bed.

In October, several mobile billboards driving around Moscow were blamed for causing over 500 traffic accidents in a single day with an ad showing a woman’s naked breasts, with only a thin, semi-transparent strip leaving the nipples still mostly visible. Moscow police impounded all the trucks carrying the ads, citing public safety concerns. The company responsible has promised to provide compensation to all drivers involved in accidents as a result of the billboards.

1 comment about "Sexy Ads Raise Opposition".
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  1. Lindsey Mumper from Student, January 11, 2015 at 10 p.m.

    I agree that billboards and advertisements like this should not be created. I don't think sex appeal needs to be used to market a quality product. If the product is good, it will speak for itself.

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