LONDON — Sex may sell in some cases, but it certainly doesn’t impress Britain’s advertising authorities.
On Wednesday, the Advertising Standards Authority, the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media, gave the British clothing brand Jack Wills a slap on the wrist for what it ruled were “overtly sexual” catalogue images.
In a statement, the ASA told Jack Wills that its spring catalogue, which features university students frolicking in the warm weather, “must not appear again in its current form.”
The ASA said it had received 19 complaints about pictures of young people semi-naked and in various titillating poses.
The body argued that while the catalogue may be aimed at an 18-22 age group, “Younger teenagers could have both direct and indirect access to it…The catalogue was sufficiently provocative as to present a risk to younger teenagers.”
London-based Jack Wills, a British clothing and accessories brand aimed at affluent university students, said it draws its inspiration from “the hedonistic university lifestyle,” and that it believed the images were an accurate reflection of student life.
The brand also said that catalogue subscribers have to be at least 18 years old, and that the catalogue already carried a warning that it contained scenes of a sexual nature.
A spokeswoman for Jack Wills declined further comment. She confirmed, however, that there are a only a few copies left of the spring issue, and that the summer edition is due out soon.