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Published on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Sexy tourist board ad was playful, not offensive, say watchdogs.


Advertising watchdogs have ruled that an advert for Go Vilnius promoting the Lithuanian city as 'the G-spot of Europe' was 'risque' and 'sexually suggestive', but they said it was also light-hearted and humorous and so unlikely to cause widespread offence.

The Advertising Standards Authority was prompted to investigate last summer's poster campaign after receiving one complaint that the advert was 'overtly sexual' and that the use of a woman in the advert was unrelated to the product, and therefore offensive.

The woman was photographed lying on a map of Europe, with her head tipped back and eyes closed, and she was gripping the material at the point where Vilnius was located. Red text stated: "Nobody knows where it is, but when they find it - it's amazing. Vilnius the G-spot of Europe."

Public institution Go Vilnius said the ad took a playful approach which aimed to be attention-grabbing inn order to introduce consumers to Vilnius as a tourist destination, a place that may not have previously been on their radar.

They said the woman was relevant because she was clearly identifying the location of the city on the map. Outdoor Plus, which displayed the ad, said they considered the ad was suitable in the medium because it clearly related to a tourist destination and it was unlikely children would understand the messaging in the creative.

The ASA said it found the ad 'risque' and 'sexually suggestive in tone', but it said it was 'light-hearted and humorous' because the woman appeared 'in a surreal and unrealistic scenario'.

"We considered the ad did not contain anything which pointed to an exploitative or degrading scenario or tone."

It added: "While we acknowledged that some might find the ad distasteful,we considered, for the above reasons, the ad did not objectify the female character and we concluded it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence."

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  • Good heavens...

    ...a whole one person was offended. What is the world coming to when someone can create an advert that offends one person's sensibilities? Thank goodness that the ASA had enough common sense to dismiss this frivolous complaint.

    By Richard English, Wednesday, January 9, 2019

  • Give me a break!!

    Some people would find even calling a woman, a woman and calling a man, a man, to be offensive and guilty of 'gender classification' (or whatever the daft phrase is). I am not a gender neutral person, I am a bloke, clear and simple. I think it's a great ad, some over sensitive souls need to get out more.

    By Keith Standen, Wednesday, January 9, 2019

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