Respected Universe columnist Caroline Farrow has heavily criticised the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it banned a Tunnock’s Tea Cakes advert.
The ASA banned the advert, which features a female tennis player holding a Tunnock’s tea cake in place of a tennis ball at the top of her thigh, over the likelihood of it causing serious offence.
However, Mrs Farrow lambasted the ASA, questioning how it could ban this advert but allow pro-abortion adverts in 2010.
“It’s rich of the ASA banning an advert on the grounds of social responsibility after having turned a blind eye to the 5,000 complaints received about the television advertisements for abortion provider Marie Stopes in 2010, which were in clear breach of its code,” Mrs Farrow told The Universe.
The poster ad, seen on 6th November, showed the tennis player with her skirt raised at the hip and included the text: ‘Where do you keep yours?’ and ‘Serve up a treat’.
One person complained that the ad was offensive and irresponsible because it was sexist and objectified women.
However, Mrs Farrow described it as “perfectly harmless” and suggested the ban was perhaps a “knee-jerk reaction” designed to reflect awareness of the #metoo movement.
“The objection to the advert was that it depicted an image, that no doubt many men would find attractive however it was no more sexual in nature than the television coverage of ladies’ tennis. The advert was clearly designed to be amusing and was in no way degrading,” she said.
Thomas Tunnock Ltd, trading as Tunnock’s Tea Cakes, said the ad appeared on a poster site adjacent to the SEC Hydro Arena in Glasgow to coincide with a charity tennis match, and was created with a tennis audience in mind.
They said the placement of the tea cake was a substitute to the normal placement of tennis balls, adding that they did not intend to offend anyone.
Mrs Farrow also suggested that ASA and the Government – if they are serious about cleaning up culture – should instead focus their attention on offensive advertisements and magazine covers that use sex as a selling point or examine music videos and popular family TV shows that appear before the watershed, often with explicit adult themes and storylines or featuring performers wearing risqué outfits.
“With the tsunami of pornography available on the internet, banning the equivalent of a slightly saucy British seaside postcard is pointless and Puritanical posturing,” she concluded.
Picture: A box of Tunnock’s Tea Cakes (Nick Benson).