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Babyboo Instagram advert on Halloween fashion banned for objectifying women

Written by on 14 April 2021

A paid-for Instagram post by retailer Babyboo Fashion has been banned for being likely to cause serious offence by objectifying women.

The ad, posted in October, depicted various shots of women wearing lingerie and angel wings or animal ears with a voiceover that said: “Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total [bleeped out] and no other girls can say anything about it. The hardcore girls just wear lingerie and some form of animal ears.”

A viewer complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the ad was sexist, objectifying, and gave a harmful message to young women.

Pope Francis' Instagram account liked - and then unliked - a picture of a Brazilian bikini model dressed in a school uniform Image: Advertising on Instagram appears as paid-for posts within users’ feeds

Babyboo Fashion did not respond to the ASA’s inquiries.

The ASA said it was was concerned by Babyboo’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the advertising code.

It said: “We understood that the bleep censor was to obscure the word ‘s***’, but considered that it would be obvious to viewers what the obscured word was.”

The regulator noted that the use of the word in the context of the ad was likely to be seen as demeaning to women.

It said: “Overall, we considered that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and included a gender stereotype in a way that was likely to cause harm. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and breached the code.”

It added: “We told Babyboo Fashion to ensure their advertising was socially responsible and did not cause serious or widespread offence by objectifying women. We also told Babyboo Fashion to ensure they did not present gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm in their future advertising.”

Meanwhile, two social media influencers have had their Instagram posts banned for failing to make it clear to viewers that they were ads.

Love Island star Zara McDermott Image: Love Island star Zara McDermott works with Missguided

A post by Zara McDermott for fashion retailer Missguided featured an image of the former Love Island contestant in gymwear alongside a caption that stated: “GUYS!!! Drop 2 of my @missguided edit is HERE!!!! Even more styles, some different fabrics, and some new colours to add to the edit! Check out the Missguided website now!”

Missguided said they did not sign the caption off and accepted it had not been correctly labelled as an ad.

Ms McDermott’s agent said that the omission of ad labels had been a mistake on Ms McDermott’s part and the caption had been amended following its posting in January.

Two Instagram posts on television reality show personality Chet Johnson’s account for North Wests Competitions also failed to disclose they were ads, the ASA ruled.

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