Adidas Forced To Remove Sports Bra Ad Showing Breasts

An Adidas campaign featuring dozens of sets of bare breasts to promote the diversity of its range of sports bras has been banned by the UK advertising watchdog for using ‘explicit nudity’ and appearing where children could see the ads.

The campaign, versions of which ran on Twitter and select large poster sites, prompted 24 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the ads were gratuitous, objectified women by “sexualising them and reducing them to body parts”, were harmful and offensive and were able to be seen by children.

The ad campaign was released in February and included both social-media posts and posters featuring images of a variety of exposed breasts, in some cases with the nipples blurred out. The campaign was released to highlight the uniqueness and diversity of breasts and promote the 72 sizes included in Adidas’ sports bra range, the company said.

The posters were accompanied by text reading: “The reasons we didn’t make just one new sports bra.” Posts on Instagram and Twitter had longer captions with a similar sentiment.

Adidas UK defended the images, saying they were not gratuitous or sexual but were intended to “reflect and celebrate different shapes and sizes and illustrate diversity”. The sportswear company said the images had been cropped to protect the identity of the models, and that they had all volunteered and were supportive of the campaign’s aims.

The ASA said it received 24 complaints about the campaign. Some said that the ads may have been “harmful and offensive” because they “objectified women by sexualizing them and reducing them to body parts,” per the ASA. Complainants also questioned whether the posters, which were displayed in public places, were appropriate for children.

The ASA said that that because the posters contained explicit nudity and were displayed in places where they were likely to be seen by children, they were “inappropriately targeted, and were likely to cause widespread offence.” The tweet featuring the image was “not in keeping with their usual content” and was therefore “likely to cause widespread offence,” the ASA said.

“The ads must not appear again in the forms complained of,” the ASA said. “We told Adidas UK Ltd to ensure their ads did not cause offence and were targeted responsibly.”

HerSport Editor

Her Sport is a platform giving girls and women a voice in sport. Our mission is to level the playing field through increasing visibility, education and creating a cultural shift.
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