Underwear company Bendon has come under fire from the Advertising Standards Board for a Facebook competition that encouraged participants to “take selfies with Besties to win weekly loveable prizes”.
The Facebook page for Bendon’s Lovable Besties featured an image of two female models wearing underwear with their arms wrapped around each other. Underneath this image were pictures submitted to the Facebook page by women with their best friends and all were fully clothed adults.
At the bottom of the page the conditions of entry were stated, one of which was that you needed parental consent to enter the competition if you were under 18 years of age.
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However, the ASB received complaints that the campaign encouraged teenagers to post semi-nude photographs.
“I feel the campaign is encouraging young girls to take photos of themselves in their underwear and post it on the internet,” one complaint to the ASB said.
“I feel that the campaign implies this, and that even if it is unintended, it is pretty close to encouraging child pornography.
“I think that this campaign sends a terrible message to their target audience about self-image as well as encouraging young females to use social media irresponsibly and even dangerously as these sorts of ‘selfies’ could attract sexual predators and paedophiles.”
Bendon argued that it reviewed the entries to the Facebook competition and it was a condition of entry that indecent, obscene, offensive, inappropriate or objectionable entries were not accepted.
“Put simply, we produce and sell intimate apparel and the advertisement, quite reasonably, displays our product as it is worn,” Bendon stated.
However, the ASB found the advertisement breached the Advertiser Code of Ethics for depicting material contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety.
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