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The UK has banned a series of Adidas sports bra ads because they feature bare breasts. Now if you’ve seen the ads, which show a photo array of exposed breasts, you know Adidas was going for a body positivity thing that also shows the diversity in shapes and sizes of women’s breasts. In 2022, this shouldn’t be a controversial thing, really, but the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority disagrees.

From Business Insider:

The ASA said it received 24 complaints about the campaign. Some said that the ads may have been “harmful and offensive” because they “objectified women by sexualizing them and reducing them to body parts,” per the ASA. Complainants also questioned whether the posters, which were displayed in public places, were appropriate for children.

Some social-media users have lauded Adidas for the campaign, however, commenting on the Instagram post with heart and clapping emojis. “Thank you for showing more brown breasts than the average health textbook!” one comment reads.

To say that these ads “objectified women by sexualizing them and reducing them to body parts” seems to almost intentionally miss the point. It’s an ad series for bras, so of course women’s breasts are relevant. The ads aren’t sexualized at all, so if you think the women whose faces aren’t even seen in the photos are being objectified, it must be because you think the female breast is inherently sexual regardless of the context in t]which they’re exposed—and that’s your problem. 

But apparently, the idea of women being objectified isn’t the ASA’s problem. Instead, it just doesn’t seem to understand what the point is of showing breasts—in advertisements for bras.

“Although we did not consider that the way the women were portrayed was sexually explicit or objectified them, we considered that the depiction of naked breasts was likely to be seen as explicit nudity,” the ASA said Wednesday. “We noted the breasts were the main focus in the ads, and there was less emphasis on the bras themselves, which were only referred to in the accompanying text.”

I suppose the ASA would also have an issue if Adidas started featuring bare feet in its sneaker ads. Right, that would be dumb.

Mostly, the ASA just seems to want prude-ish people to stop complaining.

More from Insider:

The ASA said that because the posters contained explicit nudity and were displayed in places where they were likely to be seen by children, they were “inappropriately targeted, and were likely to cause widespread offence.” The tweet featuring the image was “not in keeping with their usual content” and was therefore “likely to cause widespread offence,” the ASA said.

“The ads must not appear again in the forms complained of,” the ASA said. “We told Adidas UK Ltd to ensure their ads did not cause offence and were targeted responsibly.”

UK Adidas had some words in its own defense.

“The gallery creative was designed to show just how diverse breasts are, featuring different shapes and sizes that highlight why tailored support is paramount,” the company told Insider. “It is important to note that the ASA ruling was related to this creative being used in an untargeted fashion rather than the creative itself and the message, which we stand proudly behind.”

UK Bans Adidas Sports Bra Ads Because They Feature Exposed Breasts  was originally published on