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ASA says nude scanner app advert was a big boo boo

Should not have been shown during children's Hollyoaks show
Thu Feb 20 2014, 12:31
Banned stamp

AN ADVERT FOR AN APP has been slammed by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) because it was shown at an inappropriate time.

The app sounds casually inappropriate enough. It offers the chance for users to put their smartphone up in front of someone, say a stranger, and view what they might look like nude.

It's a dream, surely, for some sectors of the community, but not for viewers of the Channel 4 baby soap Hollyoaks.

Although the advert was cleared for broadcast by Clearcast it did have a Kids exclusion attached to it. After it was shown during six episodes of the soap, 26 people complained.

This is how the ASA approached the advert. "The ad showed a clothed woman holding an umbrella. A hand appeared which held a mobile phone. The phone then 'scanned' the woman which revealed her naked with her breasts and crotch blurred out. The naked image then rotated, showing the woman from the waist up," it explained.

"The voice-over stated, 'The 3D nude scanner is available for your mobile. Prank your friends to think you can see what any of them look like without clothes on. Just send scan to xx xxx to get the fun app now. Or also go to and join Jamster action for £4.50 per week.' On-screen text stated, 'For entertainment purposes only ... 16+, Bill payer's permission'."

The app is what it is, we suspect, and it raised concerns for a number of reasons. Seven people said that it might lead to antisocial behaviour, and seven more came to the conclusion that rendering a stranger in the nude could be "demeaning to women".

Jamster responded by removing the advert from airplay, and said that it thought the ad was okay in the first place.

Regardless of all that, the ASA came down on the demeaning to women side of the scale, and told Jamster that the advert was inappropriate, full stop.

"Because the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, we concluded it should not have been broadcast at any time, including during programmes of particular appeal to children," it said.

"The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Jesta Digital GmbH to ensure their future advertising was not demeaning to women and contained nothing that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence." µ


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