Complaint: 17/368

Hanes Brands Inc – Berlei Bra, Television

Details

Complainants
Others
advertisers
Hanes Brands Inc
Year
2017
Media
Television
Product
Apparel
Clauses
Decision
Not Upheld
ASA Links
Website Listing
Decision Document

Document





COMPLAINT NUMBER
17/368
COMPLAINANT
G Phil ips and others
ADVERTISER
Hanes Brands Inc
ADVERTISEMENT
Hanes Brands Inc - Berlei Bra,
Television
DATE OF MEETING
14 November 2017
OUTCOME
Not Upheld


SUMMARY

The television advertisement for Berlei Bras showed various scenarios to il ustrate the
uncomfortable lengths some women go to in managing their breasts. Some scenes
depicted women in il -fitting and uncomfortable bras, others using tape or nipple shields and
one woman was shown running in a bra with little support. The advertisement says, in part:
"We've been suppressed, bound, put on show, hidden away, lumped together, forced apart,
exposed. No more. It's time to be kind. Introducing Womankind." The advertisement
concludes with women wearing the Berlei bra comfortably.

Three Complainant's shared similar views the advertisement showed naked breasts, was
pornographic in nature and both G. Phil ips and L. Dinnil said it played at a time when it
could be seen by children.

The Advertiser responded that the level of nudity present in the advertisement was mild and
presented a subject matter with an appropriate level of sensitivity, to draw attention to a
common problem that impacts al females in a humourous way. The Advertiser also said the
advertisement was placed with the appropriate level of care.

The Complaints Board said the advertisement il ustrated realistic situations that women were
likely have experienced and the scenes showing near naked breasts representations were
not salacious or sexual but employed a level of humour. The Complaints Board said the
advertisement was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence and ruled it was not in
breach of Rule 4 or Rule 5 of the Code of Ethics.
The Complaints Board also found that as the advertisement would not play during children's
programming and was unlikely to play when children were a significant proportion of the
viewing audience, it had been placed responsibly and was not in breach of Basic Principle 4
of the Code of Ethics.

The Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.

[No further action required]

Please note this headnote does not form part of the Decision.







17/368
COMPLAINTS BOARD DECISION

The Chair directed the Complaints Board to consider the advertisement with reference to
Basic Principle 4 and Rules 4 and 5 of the Code of Ethics. This required the Complaints
Board to consider whether the advertisement contained anything which clearly offends
against general y prevailing community standards or was likely to cause serious or
widespread offence taking into account the context, medium, audience and product
(including services) and whether it had been prepared with a due sense of social
responsibility to consumers and society.

The Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.

The Complaints
Three Complainants shared similar views the advertisement showed naked breasts, was
pornographic in nature and both G. Phil ips and L. Dinnil said it played at a time when it
could be seen by children.

G. Phil ips said they saw the advertisement at 3.14pm and said, in part: "this advertisement
displays too many breast[s] ... its pretty ful on... it is unhelpful to have this amount of breast
exposed on tv... especial y at this time of day."

K. Kister said, in part: "this ad for women's lingerie is essential y soft porn. While it does not
show actual nipple, it clearly shows otherwise entire naked breasts, movement of breasts
under tight clothing and hands fondling naked breasts."

Response from Advertiser, Hanes Brands Inc
The Complaints Board noted the Advertiser's description of the advertisement subject to
complaint stating, in part: "the advertisement in question features multiple and varied shots
of women's cleavage being fitted into il -fitting and uncomfortable bras. The ad serves to
highlight some of the extreme lengths women go to in order to fit into a bra that may be
trendy or fashionable but is not comfortable or supportive. Also spliced in are occasional
vintage shots of older types of uncomfortable bras."

The Advertiser responded to the concerns of the Complainant's about the exposure of
breasts in the advertisement stating, in part: "...in most cases the breasts are covered,
however in some instances the breasts are seen but the nipple is always censored.
Importantly none of the shots of breasts used in the advertisement are glamourised or
sexualised in any way, in fact they are depicted in an unglamorous and harsh light in order to
highlight the discomfort associated with fitting breasts into an il -fitting bra. Accordingly, in
our view the level of nudity present in the advertisement is mild at most, and treats the
subject matter with an appropriate level of sensitivity to the relevant audience. Most
reasonable consumers in our view will recognise that the intention of the ad is not to excite
viewers with inappropriate sexual imagery, but rather, to draw attention to a common
problem that impacts al females in a frank but light-hearted manner."

Regarding the concerns of Complainants, G. Phil ips and L. Dinnil , the advertisement aired
at a time that was inappropriate, the Complaints Board noted the Advertiser responded that
"the advertisement was issued with a 'GXC' [General Except Children] rating by CAB and
was shown in timeslots appropriate to that rating, outside of children's programming."

Response from Media, Commercial Approvals Bureau
The Complaints Board noted the response from the Commercial Approvals Bureau which
said, in part: "under CAB's internal procedures, the commercial is categorised as a Retail -
Clothing advertisement and it's GXC rating explicitly prevents it from playing during
children's programming.
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17/368

The commercial advertises brassieres, a product that inextricably relates to the human body.
In its course, the commercial shows the stresses and discomforts of the body in the area of
effect: adult breasts. The lead message of the commercial is that stress and discomfort
should not be de rigueur conditions, and that bodies deserve care and comfort.

The commercial played during appropriate evening programming, focussed on the
audiences for whom the purchase of brassieres and support garments are a fact of life. The
programmes included: Real Housewives of New York, Home & Away and TV One post-
7pm."

Complaints Board Discussion
The Complaints Board noted the concerns of the Complainants the advertisement showed
inappropriate images of breasts and played at times when it could be seen by children.

The Complaints Board considered the likely consumer take-out of the advertisement. It
noted the focus was on the uncomfortable nature of some bras and took into account the
varied depictions presented. In its view, most people would interpret the advertisement
il ustrated realistic situations that women were likely have experienced. While a few scenes
showed near naked breasts, the Complaints Board said the representations were not
salacious or sexual and noted the advertisement employed humour to il ustrate situations
that women experience which was supported by the onscreen text. The Complaints Board
noted the uncomfortable and possibly confronting nature of the advertisement was
presented as a juxtaposition to the comfortable bra being promoted.

With regard to a single scene which showed a woman with only flesh colored nipple shields,
the Complaints Board said the scene was fleeting and when taken in conjunction with the
overal impression and message of the advertisement, it did not reach the threshold to cause
serious offence.

Therefore, the Complaints Board said none of the scenes presented were likely to cause
serious or widespread offence or offend against community standards and taking into
account prevailing community standards and the context, medium, audience and product
being advertised and ruled it was not in breach of Rule 4 or Rule 5 of the Code of Ethics.

The Complaints Board then considered whether the placement of the advertisement was an
issue as raised by two of the Complainants. It noted the advertisement had been afforded a
GXC Rating (General Except Children) which meant the advertisement would not play during
children's programming and was unlikely to play when children were a significant proportion
of the viewing audience.

The Complaints Board said the advertisement had been shown in accordance with the rating
and at an appropriate time for the Advertiser's target audience of 35-55 year old women.
Therefore, the Complaints Board said the placement of the advertisement met the requisite
standard of social responsibility and was not in breach of Basic Principle 4 of the Code of
Ethics.

Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.

Decision: Complaint Not Upheld






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17/368
DESCRIPTION OF ADVERTISEMENT

The television advertisement for Berlei Bras showed various scenarios to il ustrate the
uncomfortable lengths some people go to in managing their breasts. Some scenes depicted
in il -fitting bras, others using tape or nipple shields and one woman was shown running in a
bra with little support. The advertisement says, in part: "We've been suppressed, bound, put
on show, hidden away, lumped together, forced apart, exposed. No more. It's time to be
kind. Introducing Womankind." The advertisement concludes with women wearing the
Berlei bra comfortably.

COMPLAINT FROM G PHILLIPS
2017-10-04
3:14pm
I feel as though this advertisement displays too many breast...its pretty ful on. As a person
working with young people I come across youth struggling with porn addictions everyday. It
is total y unnecessary and unhelp having this amount of breast exposed on tv...especial y on
freeview tv at this time of day. Please I ask you to review this add and consider who is
seeing it and how it may be inpacting them. Both NZ young males and females are being
negatively impacted by the constant stream of naked skin displayed on tv al the time and
this add is just one example.

COMPLAINT FROM L DENNILL
2017-10-03
17h30 and 17h50
This advert DURING FAMILY VIEWING TIME shows naked breast.

COMPLAINT FROM K FISTER
2017-10-11
7:40-7:45PM
This ad for women's lingerie is essential y soft porn. While it doesn't show actual nipple, it
clearly shows otherwise entire naked breasts, movement of breasts under tight clothing and
hands fondling naked breasts.

CODE OF ETHICS

Basic Principle 4: Al advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social
responsibility to consumers and to society.

Rule 4: Decency - Advertisements should not contain anything which clearly offends
against general y prevailing community standards taking into account the context,
medium, audience and product (including services).

Rule 5: Offensiveness - Advertisements should not contain anything which in the
light of general y prevailing community standards is likely to cause serious or
widespread offence taking into account the context, medium, audience and product
(including services).

RESPONSE FROM ADVERTISER,- HANES BRANDS INC

We refer to the letter received on 17 Oct 2017 in relation to the complaints reference 17/368.
Hanes Australia Pty Ltd (formerly Pacific Brands Holdings Pty Ltd) owns the Berlei brand.
Berlei is an intimates brand that manufactures, markets and retails bras and underwear for
women.

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17/368
We have considered the complaints and the advertisement in question in light of the
provisions of the ASA Advertising Code of Ethics.

We note that the nature of the complaint relates specifical y to the concern that the
advertisement in question contains inappropriate levels of nudity. We have careful y
considered the Code, and have assessed its provisions against the content of this
advertisement. We submit that the advertisement does not breach the Code on any of the
grounds set out in the same.

Basic principle 4 of the Code provides that "Al advertisements should be prepared with a
due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society."

The advertisement in question features multiple and varied shots of women's cleavage being
fitted into il -fitting and uncomfortable bras. The ad serves to highlight some of the extreme
lengths women go to in order to fit into a bra that may be trendy or fashionable but is not
comfortable or supportive. Also spliced in are occasional vintage shots of older types of
uncomfortable bras.

In most cases the breasts are covered, however in some instances the breasts are seen but
the nipple is always censored. Importantly none of the shots of breasts used in the
advertisement are glamourised or sexualised in any way, in fact they are depicted in an
unglamorous and harsh light in order to highlight the discomfort associated with fitting
breasts into an il -fitting bra. Accordingly, in our view the level of nudity present in the
advertisement is mild at most, and treats the subject matter with an appropriate level of
sensitivity to the relevant audience. Most reasonable consumers in our view wil recognise
that the intention of the ad is not to excite viewers with inappropriate sexual imagery, but
rather, to draw attention to a common problem that impacts al females in a frank but light-
hearted manner.

We are in the business of sel ing bras and feel that this advertisement is wel within the lines
of social responsibility - and is relevant to the product and its audience.

We note that the advertisement was issued with a "GXC" rating by CAB and was shown in
timeslots appropriate to that rating, outside of children's programming.

On the above bases, we submit that the advertisement does not breach basic principle 4 of
the Code. Further, we submit that the advertisement does not breach any other provisions of
the Code, specifical y rule 4 and 5.

Contact person for advertising complaints
Zoe Hayes
Name and contact at creative agency
Kel y Spence
Name and contact at media agency
Chris Whitnal
A basic, neutral description of the
A series of shots of women in il fitting or
advertisement
uncomfortable bras. It then introduces
Berlei's new bra womankind as an
alternative to this discomfort.
Date advertisement began
2nd Oct 17
Where the advertisement appeared (al
TV, Youtube
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17/368
locations e.g. TV, Bil board, Newspaper
Website
Is the advertisement stil accessible - where
Youtube
and until when?
Who is the product / brand target audience?
Women 35-55yrs
For Broadcast advertisements:

CAB key number and rating
Key number: PAC0004_NZ_30_S
CAD Rating: GXC
Key number: PAC0004NZ_15_S
CAD Rating: GXC
For Digital advertisements:

What platform tools have you used to target
Youtube
your audience?

RESPONSE FROM MEDIA - COMMERICAL APPROVALS BUREAU

HANESBRAND TELEVISION ADVERTISEMENT
COMPLAINT: 17/368
KEY: PAC000430SN

RATING:
GXC

We have been asked to respond to this complaint under the fol owing codes:
Code of Ethics - Basic Principle 4, Rule 4, Rule 5;

CAB approved this commercial on 30/08/17 with a GXC classification. Under CAB's internal
procedures, the commercial is categorised as a Retail - Clothing advertisement and it's GXC
rating explicitly prevents it from playing during children's programming.

The commercial advertises brassieres, a product that inextricably relates to the human body.
In its course, the commercial shows the stresses and discomforts of the body in the area of
effect: adult breasts. The lead message of the commercial is that stress and discomfort
should not be de rigueur conditions, and that bodies deserve care and comfort.

The commercial played during appropriate evening programming, focussed on the
audiences for whom the purchase of brassieres and support garments are a fact of life. The
programmes included: Real Housewives of New York, Home & Away and TV One post-7pm.

The advertiser has presented a clear and important message in the promotion of their
product, with sensitivities to their consumer-base and audience. In al respects they have
met their due social responsibilities and CAB believes the complaint should not be upheld.

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