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ASA climbs down on FKA Twigs ad and bans BBH Audi spot

After a big backlash against its decision to ban FKA Twigs’ Calvin Klein ad, the ASA has reviewed the case and changed its ruling.

The ad, which shows the singer only half-wearing a denim shirt, is no longer judged to present FKA Twigs as a stereotypical sex object, or to objectify women. It’s now passed as fit for limited public consumption – the image is still deemed inappropriate to display in an untargeted medium.

The original ban was seen as hypocritical in the face of another Calvin Klein campaign, which featured actor Jeremy Allen White in just his boxer shorts but didn’t set the ASA’s alarm bells ringing. FKA Twigs said at the time: “I do not see the ‘stereotypical sexual object’ that they have labelled me. I see a beautiful strong woman of colour whose incredible body has overcome more pain than you can imagine.”

Another big advertiser, Audi, has come under fire this week: an ad has been banned for over-claiming on charging times and range. The BBH spot gives the impression that the vehicle could achieve a maximum mileage of 330 miles, and that this could be achieved following a charge taking 31 minutes.

Audi blames having to cram all the small print into a limited amount of time. They may have a point, but advertisers need to be more careful than that.

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