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Lastminute.com takes ad rap

Dotcom darling fails to co-operate

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Lastminute.com has been given six of the best for failing to respond to complaints about two saucy ads plugging its online holiday deals.

The ads featured close-up shots of the bottom and breasts of a bikini-clad woman on a beach. Both ads were accompanied by suggestive headlines.

Eleven people contacted the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), complaining that the posters were offensive, demeaning to women, unsuitable to be seen by children and "irresponsible because they could distract motorists".

Some of the complaints also said the ads were "particularly offensive" because they were placed in areas with a large Muslim population, while another was sited near a mosque.

The ASA rejected the complaints insisting that they were not demeaning to women and "unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence". And while it recognised that the images might cause offence to some Muslims, the ASA ruled that this was not enough for it to take action.

However, Lastminute.com's downfall, disclosed this week by the ASA, was its failure to respond to the complaints.

Said the ASA: "The Authority was concerned by the advertisers' lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code."

As a result, both complaints were upheld. ®

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