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Controversial ad banned

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Friday, October 27, 2006

London (Reuters): A shower gel advert which featured a very young-looking woman sitting naked under a lemon tree was slated by Britain's advertising watchdog today which ruled it ''offensive and inappropriate''. Although the model in the television advert for Original Source shower gel was an adult, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said she might be taken for a child by some people.

''Because some viewers were likely to believe that the model was a child, we considered the sexual overtones and nudity in the ad were offensive and inappropriate.'' It said the ad must not appear again in its original form. Several people had complained about the ad because the model looked under 16 and was shown in what they considered to be a sexually provocative way.

Defending the advert, PZ Cussons said they had wanted to portray the naturalness of their product and that the question of how old the model looked was subjective. They said the same woman wearing make-up and clothes would look much older. The company said it had been surprised by the complaints, some of which were sent directly to them, and had decided to re-edit the ad so that the model was only seen from the shoulders.

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