Adidas advert banned for showing over 60 ‘sexual’ snaps of women’s nipples

An Adidas sports bra advert has been banned for showing "sexual" images of more than 60 women's nipples.

The German-based company shared collages of bare breasts on social media as part of a new campaign to "celebrate different shapes and sizes" and "illustrate diversity".

However, 24 people complained about the "gratuitous" nudity and the issue was sent to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The complaints referred to three different posters, including one tweeted from Adidas' official account in February.

That tweet showed 20 pairs of bare breasts of various skin colours, shapes and sizes, as well as 43 different bra styles.

A tagline on it read: "We believe women's breasts in all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort. Which is why our new sports bra range contains 43 styles, so everyone can find the right fit for them."

Another image showed the bare breasts of 62 women with the tagline: "The reasons we didn't make just one new sports bra."

The third showed the same text and cropped images of 64 women, although their breasts were pixelated.

The ASA in Britain ruled that the images should not have been posted where children could see them as they were "likely to cause widespread offence".

The post with the pixelated breasts was also deemed to be sexual.

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The ASA said: "Although we did not consider that the way the women were portrayed was sexually explicit or objectified them, we noted the breasts were the main focus in the ads, and there was less emphasis on the bras themselves, which were only referred to in the accompanying text.

"As the ads contained explicit nudity, we considered that they required careful targeting to avoid causing offence to those who viewed them.

"[Two of the] ads were large posters, appeared in untargeted media and were therefore likely to be seen by people of all ages, including children.

"The ads must not appear again in the forms complained of. We told Adidas UK Ltd to ensure their ads did not cause offence and were targeted responsibly."

In response, Adidas said they believed the images were not gratuitous but rather "intended to reflect and celebrate different shapes and sizes".

They also said they "did not believe they would cause harm or distress to children" and that the models used in the ads had volunteered and were supportive of the campaign.

A spokesman added: "At Adidas, we believe everybody in sport deserves to be supported.

"It is important to note that the ASA ruling was related to this creative being used in an untargeted fashion rather than the creative itself and the message, which we stand proudly behind."

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