Agent’s advert featuring topless male model banned for ‘objectifying’ men

An estate agent’s adverts featuring a topless man wearing tight boxer shorts has landed the firm in trouble with the advertising watchdog.

The image was cropped so that only the man’s torso and thighs were visible.

The caption said in capital letters: “WOW! WHAT A PACKAGE!”

A roundel containing the text “Fully managed letting service” was placed over the model’s crotch.

The advert, by Coventry-based Lewis Oliver Estates, was carried on a poster and in a leaflet, and drew two complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Both complainants said the image was irrelevant to the service being advertised and objectified the man. They found the advert offensive.

Lewis Oliver Estates told the ASA that they had not meant to offend anyone and the adverts were intended as light-hearted fun.

They had not received any complaints directly, and would be happy to change the billboard in 12 weeks’ time when it was due for renewal.

The ASA upheld the complaint.

It said the image bore no relation to the service being advertised.

In today’s published ruling, the ASA says: “While the pose was only mildly suggestive in nature, we noted that the man’s head was cropped out of the picture, which invited viewers to focus on his body.

“We considered that the phrase “WOW! WHAT A PACKAGE”, in combination with the service information placed over the model’s crotch, was a clear reference to male genitalia.

“Taking the image, strapline and placement of the roundel into account, we considered that the ad was likely to have the effect of objectifying the man by using his physical features to draw attention to an unrelated product.

“We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some people.”

The ASA has told Lewis Oliver Estates not to use the adverts again and not to portray men in a manner that objectified them and was likely to cause offence.

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12 Comments

  1. eltell

    Really?  Get a life!

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  2. ArthurHouse02

    Where did our sense of humour go. Who really cares, the model in question would no doubt have given his consent to being objectified. Some people have nothing better to do.

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    1. Paulfromromsey87

      Might as well have said ‘Is that a For Sale board in your pants or are you just pleased to see us?’  In for a penny etc

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      1. ArthurHouse02

        You are wasted in estate agency PaulfromRomsey.

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  3. NotAGuru71

    Wow, what a douche the ASA is! I drove past it most mornings and my initial impression was it was light hearted and funny, after seeing it a few times it was just “meh” another advert. Cast back to the Timotei advert, very pretty lady wearing next to nothing, a shampoo advert or the Wonderbra adverts (ok it was about bras and so the breast thing is relevant) or even the perfume one with nude men and women? Oh yes, for reference, the advert is still present on RM ! Oopppss

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    1. CountryLass

      Like the perfume ad with the expressionless Kirsten Stewart running along trailing skimpy bits of fabric and punching through some sort of crystal thing?

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  4. JSSoxted58

    and what is wrong with a bit of objectification as long as all parties are willing – world gone mad!

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  5. smile please

    I have just found the advert online, how anybody could take offence is beyond me.

    Must be a very bitter rival in town with far too much time on their hands.

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  6. CountryLass

    I want to see the advert! It’s not relevant to the product, fair enough, I’ll agree with that. Still not sure why it’s offensive though…

    Some people aren’t happy unless they are complaining though.

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  7. Thomas Flowers

    ‘WOW’ so if it were advertising a male escort service that would make it OK?

    “We considered that the phrase “WOW! WHAT A PACKAGE”, in combination with the service information placed over the model’s crotch, was a clear reference to male genitalia.
    “Taking the image, strapline and placement of the roundel into account, we considered that the ad was likely to have the effect of objectifying the man by using his physical features to draw attention to an unrelated product.

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  8. dave_d

    This has been around for ages…. they’re not the first.

    https://www.prestigeprint.biz/estate-agent-leaflets/summer

    Prestigeprint show it as one of their options for a Summer Leaflet.

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  9. mrtickle

    I think this complaint is fair game. Having a hot female body would no doubt end with cries of sexism and objectification. We need guys to be treated in the same manner – otherwise it is hypocrisy.

    The underlying concern should be whether saucy puns using the human body as a feedline are offensive. I don’t think they are. I think they’re just a method to try and get a laugh, and anyone who finds a problem with them are the ones with the problem – not the ads themselves.

    Let’s all grow up and argue about things that matter. A pun about a d1ck isn’t one of them.

    End of conversation.

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