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Kids’ clothing catalogue banned over ‘sexual’ poses February 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion.

The advertising watchdog in Britain has banned a number of images in a mail order clothing catalogue after agreeing with complaints that they showed children in highly sexually suggestive poses.

No Added Sugar, which describes itself as a relatively new company producing edgy and fashionable childrenswear, sent out 14,000 of the catalogues. It conceived and directed the images, which told the story of “A weekend at Great Aunt Mary’s and her lesson in ettiquette”, and wrote the captions. Two of the models were children of the company’s staff and the other models were children of friends.

Five people complained about six images in the catalogue and the Advertising Standards Authority agreed that three of them were likely to be seen as presenting a child in a sexually provocative manner.

In one of the three images, a heavily made-up girl, who appears to be under 10, is pictured on all fours on top of a chest of drawers and below a clock, accompanied by the caption “Punctuality. A gentleman should never keep a lady waiting and a true lady should act like one”.

In another, the same girl is shown lying in the back seat of a car, wearing a skirt and leggings, with her legs open and the caption is “Rules and regulations. Not to be violated, seatbelts included”.

In cases the ASA concluded that the images were “sexually provocative” and the captions could be interpreted as innuendo.

The third image pictured a young boy pushing a car away from the camera, revealing a small amount of skin between his jeans and his sweat top. The ASA allowed this may have been “unintentional” but said it was “inappropriate”.

No Added Sugar told the ASA it did not see any sexual references in the photos and it found the suggestion that such references existed shocking and upsetting. The ASA ruled that the three images breached its guidelines on responsible advertising, decency and the use of children. It ordered No Added Sugar not to use these or similar images again and to get advice from the CAP copy advice team before advertising again.

In 2004, Armani Junior withdrew a press ad showing a child of ambiguous gender posing bare-chested after 74 complained to the ASA that it sexualised children.

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