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Agent Provocateur blasted by the ASA

By FashionUnited


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Luxury lingerie chain Agent Provocateur has been asked to censor or pull one of its “sexually graphic” adverts by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) due to the claims it could be accessed online by children. The video

campaign, which was displayed on the Agent Provocateur website, featured a woman in a nightgown being attacked by other women dressed in sexy underwear, was part of its Halloween promotion.

A member of the public complained that the ad was irresponsible as it featured on a website with no age restriction, which led the ASA to contact the lingerie retailer to inform them that the ad must not appear again unless suitable precautions were taken to avoid it being seen by children.

In its assessment, the authority said the ad breached the code of social responsibility, with erotic and fetish-style scenes featured that some viewers would not find suitable for children.

The ASA added: “Because of the sexually graphic, and at times distressing, nature of the video and the potential for children to share a web-link relatively easily we concluded that it was unsuitable for display on an openly-accessible website where it might be viewed by children."

An Agent Provocateur spokesman said: “Agent Provocateur has always produced original video and photographic content that at times has been controversial. This video is no exception. It was produced nearly one year ago and has received only one complaint in its time on the Agent Provocateur website.

“Agent Provocateur understands that not all of its content will be appreciated by every viewing audience and out of respect to this one complaint have decided to put a brief warning before this particular video to ensure viewers are alerted to its content. Our customers are incredibly important to us and whilst we do not wish to offend we do hope to provoke – something the majority of our customers value us for.”

The "Les Fleurs du Mal" film directed by Justin Anderson was produced to celebrate the launch of Agent Provocateur’s Soiree Collection 2011 and has had nearly 400,000 hits on YouTube since last October.

Advertising Standards Authority
Agent Provocateur