Building firm's naked ad deemed 'offensive and unsuitable'

The ASA acknowledged someone using a shower 'would be naked' but said it was 'not essential'

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Credits: HDS Builders

A building firm advert has been banned because it featured a naked woman in the shower and was offensive, sexist and demeaning to women.

The ruling came after HDS Builders argued defending the advert that people "did not shower wearing clothing".

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The firm published the racy virtual tour for its bathrooms in March featuring a woman posing seductively under the water.

An image of the naked woman also featured on the firm's website.

The advert has now been deemed "offensive and unsuitable" for an "untargeted medium".

The ruling followed a number of complaints against the Pontypridd-based company.

Credits: HDS Builders

The banned advert featuring the woman in the shower

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) upheld the complaints, ruling that it was likely to cause "serious offence" and would be seen as "sexist" and to "demean women".

It told the company it must not feature the ad again in its current form, Wales Online reports.

In a ruling on its website, the ASA said: "The woman was fully nude, shown full length side on, with her bottom sticking out, her back arched and with some of her breast visible under her folded arms.

"In light of the nudity, we considered the pose was provocative and could be seen to be sexually suggestive with the tone further enhanced in the virtual tour because it was possible to freeze the image, zoom in and out and change the angle."

It was "not essential" to use a nude image to explain how a shower worked, or to highlight bathroom installations

Building firm 'provocative' ad banned

HDS was told it must not feature the ad again in its current form

It said it acknowledged someone using a shower "would be naked" but said it was "not essential" to use such an image to explain how a shower worked, or to highlight bathroom installations.

It added: "Although the image had some relevancy to a bathroom and shower, we nonetheless considered it was likely to be seen as sexist and to demean women by using their physical features for no other reason than to draw attention to the advertising.

"We considered that, because the websites were for a builder, consumers would not expect to see a naked woman either on the home page or at the start of the virtual tour and the image had the potential to be seen by many people who were likely to find it offensive.

"We therefore concluded that the ads were inappropriately targeted and, because of the amount of nudity and the woman's sexually provocative pose, the image was likely to cause serious offence."

According to the ASA, in HDS Builders' response to the complaint, they said people "did not shower wearing clothing", and so the image was indeed appropriate for the tour.

Credits: HDS Builders

The pose was deemed provocative, the ruling said

The ruling added: "They appreciated that some people might not find the image acceptable, but no intimate body parts were visible and they did not believe it was indecent."

The action means the ads must not appear again in their current form, and the ASA told the firm not to use "similar images" in its advertising in the future.

It meant it had breached the industry's Committees of Advertising Practice code of social responsibility and harm and offence.

HDS Builders was contacted for comment.

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