ASA rules 'Bare T*Ts Project' ad offensive
Viewers of adult channels have a right to be offended
The ASA has ruled that an ad for a smutty premium rate phone service breached taste guidelines after it was broadcast on a sex channel at 6.40am.
The ASA recounts that the ad on the Tease Me 2 channel featured mock documentary footage titled The Bare Tits Project, and stated "In 2009 4 students went out to make a naughty documentary in Epping Forest... They never returned but the footage was found a year later."
Viewers were then exposed to footage of "three women, who were frequently topless, in a woodland setting". Viewers were told “if you want to talk to some really naughty girls, call the number on the screen now”.
The ad included scrolling onscreen text detailing costs and waring "this is an adult service and is NOT a dating service." They were also told "calls are with off-screen girls".
The ad rankled with one viewer, who saw the ad on Tease Me 2 at 6.40am, and who "challenged whether the nudity in the ad was offensive, particularly given the time of day at which it was broadcast".
The ASA itself challenged whether the "premium rate service was of a sexually explicit nature and therefore whether it should have been broadcast only on an encrypted element of an adult entertainment channel."
Tease Me 2 said the ad was broadcast by mistake due to an operator error. It accepted the ad could cause offence to some viewers, but pointed out it was broadcast on a "clearly signposted adult entertainment channel". It therefore "disagreed that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence or that the depiction of nudity contravened any generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards".
It added that the ad was clearly distinguishable from editorial content.
The ASA upheld both claims. It accepted the ad had been broadcast in error, and that offence was unlikely to be "serious or widespread if appropriately scheduled". But it added it had been seen by a viewer in the morning, and was likely to cause offence, and should only be seen on an encrypted channel.
Which presumably means that even if you are perusing a channel like Tease Me 2 first thing in the morning, you have not abdicated your right to be offended by what you see. ®