Lingerie ads often tow the line between risqué and raunchy. And, what's sexy to some can be over-the-top offensive to others. Take this commercial for the Australian lingerie company, Innerware. The 30-second clip features a scantily clad, well-endowed woman walking into an auto-body shop and up to a stunned shop employee, asking, "Can you fit me?" (We'll take that to mean "Can you fit my car in for a tune-up appointment?") But, there's an obvious double entendre there, one that has gotten some viewers a little heated.
"The ad was discriminatory towards women and in very poor taste. It was highly inappropriate and had nothing to do with lingerie," complained one viewer to Australia's Advertising Standards Board. "I thought it was an ad for the sex industry when I first saw it." said another.
For their part, Innerware owners Evan and Tina Zorba say that the advert wasn't meant to cause controversy. "The idea was about having fun with it, we didn't want to offend anyone, it was a bit cheeky."
In the end, the board ruled that the ad wasn't demeaning or degrading, but that it "failed to treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity." Consequently, the ad has been banned from broadcast. We think it's interesting that Australia's standards board made a move to ban that ad at all; it seems almost tame when pitted against our American commercials (Carl's Jr.'s series comes to mind).