A complaint was made in respect of a marketing email sent by Boohoo to its customers, on the basis that it was socially irresponsible.

The email was accompanied with the subject title “Send Nudes [eyes emoji]”. The advertisement depicted an image of a female model dressed in a beige jacket. Text reading “Send nudes. Set the tone with new season hues” was written across the photograph.

Despite Boohoo’s assertion that the word “nude” was intended only to describe the colour of the jacket, and that the email would not have been sent to any individual under 16 years of age, the ASA ruled that the advertisement was socially irresponsible. This finding was on the basis that the marketing communication was aimed at a relatively young audience which could be affected by pressure to send sexual images of themselves. It was particularly noted that Boohoo’s target market was aged 16 to 24, and the reference used in the advertisement trivialised a potentially harmful social trend.

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