MOSCOW-BASED SECURITY FIRM Kaspersky has had its wrists slaps by the UK's Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) after it aired an "irresponsible" advert to promote its services.
The advert, apparently showcasing Kaspersky's online security software, aired on TV in December and depicted a woman unbuttoning her shirt and taking a photo of herself in the mirror, saying: "I want to show myself… but only to my boyfriend".
This, perhaps unsurprisingly, hasn't gone down well with the ASA, which received 70 complaints about the smutty ad campaign.
Despite the ad airing post-9pm, the watchdog has said that "older children" may have seen the commercial, which complainants argued could "normalise" sexting for people under the age of 18, and implied that the Kaspersky software would protect young people from third-parties seeing explicit pictures of them.
"We consulted with the NSPCC, and a spokesperson stated that seeing adults engaging in the sending of sexualised images may reinforce the perception that the activity—which presented real risks for children and young people—was widespread and may increase the pressure and coercion that young people already experienced to engage in the practice," it said in its ruling.
"Because the ad had the effect of normalising the act of taking and sending explicit photos on a mobile phone, we concluded that it had the potential to cause harm to under 18s and was therefore irresponsible."
It ruled that the advert, despite its post-watershed airing time, breached BCAP Code rules 1.2 (social responsibility) and 4.1 (harm and offence).
Kaspersky said they were sorry that the ad had been challenged by so many viewers for being irresponsible and they would try not to upset viewers in future, the ad was no longer being used and would not be used in future. µ
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