Artificial lawn business told to take down billboard that ‘sexualised women’
It features a half-naked woman lying on the lawn.
An artificial grass business in Oldham has been ordered to take down a huge advertising billboard after people complained it was ‘offensive, harmful and irresponsible’.
The advert for Great Grass MCR featured a woman wearing ‘only thong-style underwear’ laying on the lawn, alongside the strap line ‘Get laid by the best’.
The massive poster just off the M60 also featured the words ‘ARTIFICIAL GRARSE EXPERTS’.
Complaints made to the Advertising Standards Agency said that the ad ‘objectified and sexualised women’.
Previous posters for the company have included pictures of men in small underwear and of women’s breasts, with the slogan ‘real or fake’?
The ASA decided to uphold complaints made about the latest Great Grass MCR poster, saying that it ‘was sexually suggestive and would be seen as presenting the model as a sexual object’.
The ruling states: “The ASA considered that those who saw the ad would understand that it featured a woman. The model was dressed only in underpants and was lying on her front on the grass which exposed her buttocks.
“Large text above the image stated, “ARTIFICIAL GRARSE EXPERTS”. We noted that the word ‘grass’ was spelt incorrectly to include the word “arse”. We considered that was likely to be understood by readers to be a reference to the model’s buttocks and had the effect of making that exposed part of her body the focus, thereby drawing attention to the ad.
“The ad also stated, “Get laid by the best”. We considered “get laid” would be understood by readers as a slang reference to sexual intercourse. We considered that text, together with the model’s pose and state of undress, was sexually suggestive and would be seen as presenting the model as a sexual object.
“We acknowledged that while sunbathing, people might recline on a lawn wearing revealing clothing. However, we considered that in the context of the ad, in particular the references to “arse” and “get laid”, the model was portrayed as a sexual object, rather than someone who was sunbathing.
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“For those reasons, we concluded that the ad objectified and stereotyped women as sexual objects, was irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.”
Great Grass said that ‘Get laid by the best’ is a slogan they’ve used for years, and added that only three complaints were made about an advert seen by thousands.
The ruling also added: “Great Grass also said that to assume that the person featured in the ad was a woman was wrong and offensive to the transgender community.”
The ASA continued: “Vision Advertising, the media owner, said that Great Grass had been using the slogan ‘Get laid by the best’ on their marketing material for many years, and it meant that they believed they were the best at laying artificial grass.
“They said the image of the person sunbathing on their new lawn was not offensive as that was something that most people would do.
“They did not believe that the ad objectified and sexualised women and they also said that identifying the person in the ad as a woman was debatable and a matter of opinion.
“Vision Advertising confirmed they had received no complaints.”
Featured image: ASA