A complaint was made in respect of a product listing on Amazon by clothing and lifestyle retailer Olanstar. The advertisement depicted seven pictures of a female model wearing a school girl costume, advertising the “Olanstar School Girl Costume Halloween Cosplay Uniform Classic Pleated Mini Skirt with Bow-knot”. The complainant challenged whether the advertisement breached the CAP Code on the basis that it portrayed a model who appeared to be under 18 in a sexualised manner.
The ASA considered that the model’s poses and accompanying text in the advertisement were to an extent sexually suggestive. Since Olanstar (in further breach of the CAP Code) had not responded to the ASA’s enquiries, the ASA had no information or evidence about the age of the model, but agreed with the complainant that she appeared to be young.
Therefore, the ASA ruled that the advertisement featured a person who appeared to be under the age of 18 in a sexualised way, and was in breach of the Code since it was likely to cause harm and offence.