Boohoo rapped by ad watchdog for "Send Nudes" email campaign

today Oct 16, 2019
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The ASA has ruled that an ad campaign by Boohoo, which made a play on the well-known “send nudes” phrase, was socially irresponsible and misleading.


The email ad sent to subscribers in July featured the subject heading "Send Nudes" alongside an eyes emoji, while the body contained an image of a model wearing a beige jacket with the words “Send nudes. Set the tone with new season hues”.

Boohoo defended the marketing campaign by claiming the word “nude” was used in reference to the colour of the beige jacket, which matched the model’s skin tone.

Although the Advertising Standards Authority acknowledged that the term “nude” was commonly used in the fashion industry, it claimed that the phrase “send nudes” could be understood as a request for sexual photos, which could be a form of sexual harassment.

“While the ad played on a well-known phrase to highlight a fashion trend, we considered the specific reference chosen had the effect of making light of a potentially harmful social trend,” said the ad watchdog.

“Furthermore, in the subject heading of an email, without any further context, the phrase “send nudes” was likely to be disconcerting for some recipients, particularly those who might have personal experience of being asked to “send nudes”.

“In the context of an ad aimed at a relatively young audience who were more likely to be harmfully affected by pressure to share sexual images of themselves, we considered that the reference to “send nudes” was socially irresponsible and breached the Code."

Boohoo was not the only fast fashion brand to receive a warning from the ASA this week. In a separate ruling, the organisation banned a video on demand (VOD) ad for Missguided for objectifying women.

The ad appeared on ITV Hub during Love Island on June 14, and showed a close-up of a woman's mouth as she held a strawberry between her lips, a model running her hand up her inner thigh, and a group of women on a beach with their legs apart in seductive poses.

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