LONDON — Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority has cracked down once again on the British high street brand Jack Wills — this time for images featured the brand’s direct mail catalog for spring.
ASA called the images — which depict male and female models dressed in their underwear, drinking and dancing in bed together — “sexually suggestive.”
The accompanying copy reads: “Underwear…Pure and comfortable cottons, or flirty delicate laces, whatever your choice, you can be sure it’s what’s underneath that counts….” In large text at the bottom of the page, it reads “… midnight mischief.”
The watchdog said it had received one complaint about the images being unsuitable for a clothing catalog that’s targeted at teenagers.
The ASA said the ad must not appear again in its current form. “We told Jack Wills Ltd. not to use sexualized images and text that were inappropriate for younger teenagers in ads to which those teenagers could have both direct and indirect access.”
Jack Wills stated the brand is targeted at 18- to 24-year-old university students, and not at younger teenagers. The retailer also pointed to terms and conditions on its web site that anyone under 18 must get parental consent to sign up to the company mailers.
The brand also noted that the catalog was addressed and sent to the complainant, not to her children, and was delivered in a sealed, opaque paper envelope.
A Jack Wills spokesman told WWD that while there are more than 3 million customers on its mailing list, only one customer complained.
This isn’t the first time Jack Wills has fallen foul of the ASA due to the sexual overtones of its ads. In 2011, the ASA gave the British clothing brand a slap on the wrist for what it ruled were “overtly sexual” images in its spring catalog.