Credos (the think tank for advertising) unveiled an interesting piece of research last week, investigating public views on the use of sexualised imagery (think girls in bikinis and boys wearing briefs) in outdoor advertising.
As some of you will already know, the OMC and the Advertising Association have both spent the last 18 months working with the government and the ASA to figure out exactly how much bare leg it takes to corrupt a nation’s youth (if any) and asking whether advertisers, agencies and media owners need to tone down our saucier billboards.
The report sheds a little new light on what real people (hint: not politicians) actually think about this stuff. All of the data can be viewed here, but to save you the bother of all of that boring number crunching, yours truly has summarised the views of the hundreds of people Credos spoke to and boiled it down to three easily digestible sentences, for the
lazy busy readers of this blog:
- The people (over 1000) Credos spoke to just aren’t that worried or offended by the examples of outdoor advertising they were shown. And just 11% said (when prompted) that they were likely to be offended by ads they’ve seen outdoors.
- Credos showed a range of different outdoor ads to people and asked them which ones they found offensive. The ones the majority picked were ones already banned by the ASA. Which is handy – as that’s exactly the point of having an advertising regulator.
- Outdoor advertising came 5th – yes, 5th – in its capacity to offend, behind those bad ‘uns in TV, internet, mobile and, er, direct mail.
All of that should make encouraging reading for an industry that has perhaps (whisper it) copped rather more of the blame for our sexualised society than the evidence suggests it deserves. Time will tell if this report from Credos will start to redress a bit of that balance…
PS for those of you who only read down this far in the desperate hope you might get to look at someone attractive wearing very little, here’s a reward for your persistence:
And for those of you who like tennis, here’s another:
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