Ultrabra advert complaints dismissed

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THE Independent Television Commission yesterday rejected 27 complaints about the Gossard Ultrabra commercial, which featured a man talking to, and admiring, a woman who was wearing an Ultrabra under her jacket.

The ITC said viewers complained that the commercial was detrimental to women by 'appearing to equate successful womanhood with the possession of physical attributes capable of attracting a good-looking man'. It said advertisers should take this reaction into account in future.

The commercial showed a woman who padded her own bra with tissue attempting to get the attention of the man, until her padding was removed by the Ultrabra wearer. It ended with the line that Ultrabra 'knocks the stuffing out of ordinary bras'.

The advertiser provided details of pre-broadcast research which suggested that the majority of women in their target audience would react positively. There was no complaint of bad taste or sexism: the tissue sequence was seen as humorous just desserts for a woman trying to steal another's man.

The ITC said it accepts that it is legitimate for lingerie advertisements to show products in use and that this will inevitably lead to criticism of voyeurism. The Advertising Standards Authority has received complaints about press advertisements for the Playtex Wonderbra.

The ITC received 44 complaints about an advertisement for a children's magazine called Bugs, which featured close-up shots of insects and spiders. Complainants said that these made them feel sick. 'Nausea, anxiety or distaste (was) provoked by these magazines', the ITC said. It said that there was no justification for a ban on the images.