escapes ban on oral sex ad

Insurance website has kicked up a perfect media-storm after its latest TV ad appears to show a couple engaging in oral sex in their car. The advert has escaped a ban despite 137 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

In the ad, which was broadcast after 9pm, the camera shows a parked car in a bleak windswept spot on top of a hill. mascot Brian the robot then appears to interrupt a couple’s oral sex session by knocking on the window of the car to tell them that they could save money on their car insurance.

As Brian taps on the window, the man is seated in the driver’s seat while the woman is bending down out of view. Brian’s appearance sees the startled woman springing into view.

Brian then says: “I’ve run your details through my extensive circuits resulting in a saving of £225 on your car insurance,” to which the man responds, “That’s alright, that is.” Brian then asks, “Who is our daddy?” to which the man replies, “I don’t know”.

The majority of people who contacted the ASA complained that the advert featured an implied reference to oral sex, while others said it was unsuitable for children, and a small number said it was degrading to women. responded that the couple featured were fully clothed and sitting in a car outside their house, about to set off on a journey. In addition, the woman was shown to sit up from the footwell on her side of the car, and that the delay in the woman seeing the robot allowed for a comedic shock reaction at the appearance of the amusing robot character.

The ASA acknowledged that viewers may interpret the ad as a reference to oral sex, but said that it contained no explicit reference to sex nor used sexual imagery. It said: “While we acknowledged that some viewers might find the ad distasteful, we considered it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.”

The ASA also did not uphold complaints that the ad was offensive to women, saying:  “We considered the ad did not depict the woman as a sexual object, nor did it suggest that the woman was in distress. On that basis, we concluded that the ad was not likely to be viewed as degrading to women.”

The ASA said that following its investigations, no further action was necessary in relation to the advert.

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