A TV advert for a smartphone app that showed nude images of a woman has been banned after viewers complained when it was shown during a prime-time show.
The app, Nude Scanner 3D, is designed as a prank app so that friends can "think you can see what any of them look like without clothes on", according to the voiceover on the advert.
To demonstrate how it works, images of a naked woman – with only her breasts and crotch areas pixelated – are shown on the advert, which appeared during an ad-break of popular soap Hollyoaks on Channel 4, which screens at 6.30pm.
However, the company that designed the app, Jesta – which also trades as Jamster – were forced to remove the advert from broadcasting after receiving several complaints from angered viewers.
According to a report published by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), a total of 26 viewers complained, with 21 concerned about the time it was shown on TV.
The ASA ruled that the advert was "unsuitable for a child audience" and "demeaning to women", resulting in its entire removal from broadcasting.
The report read: "We acknowledged that the models featured on the app would not be shown fully naked, that the voice-over contained one reference to 'pranking' and that on-screen text stated 'for entertainment purposes only'. However, we considered that viewers may have assumed that the image would be fully nude because the ad had not made that clear."
The ad was approved by compliance and clearance agency Clearcast, allowing it to be broadcast during programmes that were not targeted at children. Clearcast said the images were no more risque than underwear ads or music videos, adding that there was nothing in the ad which condoned or promoted an unwanted scan.
The advert did contain a 16+ warning but, after obtaining figures from the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB), the ASA concluded that older children between the ages of 10 and 15 who were watching were "most likely to have been interested in downloading the app".
They added: "Because the ad focused on the product's apparent ability to enable the user to view naked images of women using the camera on their phone, and had a prolonged focus on the female model, we considered it was unsuitable for a child audience and was likely to be viewed as demeaning to women and, therefore, offensive."
The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, saying: "We told Jesta Digital GmbH to ensure their future advertising was not demeaning to women and contained nothing that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence."
Jamster said that while they accepted the ruling and removed the advert following complaints, they did not consider the programme in question as being targeted at children.