'Bondage' car advert to be shown after 9pm: Restriction on 'super-models' commercial after protests

A TELEVISION commercial featuring the model Naomi Campbell in 'bondage gear' will be shown only after the 9pm watershed following protests from anti-pornography campaigners. But the Independent Television Commission, which has received 40 letters of protest about the campaign, said it was unlikely to uphold complaints.

The commercial shows the 'super-model' in what protesters claim is a sado-masochistic scene. It is part of a pounds 10m television, press and poster campaign for Vauxhall's new 'super-model', the Corsa car. Critics praised the advertisement for its tongue-in-cheek view of car advertising's traditionally sexist use of women. The campaign features four other super-models reputedly paid up to pounds 500,000 each.

Last Friday, protesters from the Campaign Against Pornography picketed the offices of Lowe Howard-Spink, Vauxhall's advertising agency. David Wheldon, the agency's managing director, agreed to meet the protesters and, after consulting Vauxhall, agreed not to show Ms Campbell in her 'bondage' outfit before 9pm. But neither Vauxhall nor the agency conceded that the advert was pornographic or sado-masochistic.

Rachel Dingfield, a co-ordinator for Campaign Against Pornography, said: 'The advertising campaign is not a parody and if it is meant to be, then it is so sophisticated in its post-feminism that it ends up being old-fashioned sexism, which gives the message to ordinary viewers that women and cars are commodities of men.'

The ITC said it would uphold complaints if it felt advertising exploited women or portrayed women under obvious threat. 'Those elements are not present in this campaign.'

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