An advertisement for a new range of Adidas sports bras has been pulled after the UK advertising watchdog received complaints because it featured images of bare breasts.
The Adidas campaign, which ran across Twitter and as physical posters, featured images of the breasts of dozens of women, designed to show “how diverse breasts are”.
Adidas posted the ad to Twitter with the accompanying message: “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.”
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority received 24 complaints, including that the use of nudity was gratuitous and objectified women by sexualising them, and reduced them to body parts. Some complaints also queried whether the ad was appropriate for children to see.
Adidas has stood by its ad, saying the images were not gratuitous or sexual in nature, and were meant to reflect and celebrate different shapes and sizes and illustrate diversity.
The Advertising Standards Authority agreed that it did not consider the images to be sexual or that the images objectified women, but said it considered that “the depiction of naked breasts was likely to be seen as explicit nudity”.
“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,” the ASA said.
“As the ads contained explicit nudity, we considered that they required careful targeting to avoid causing offence to those who viewed them.”