18 May 2022

Following two complaints, the ASA has found an Alibaba advertisement, which featured on NewsNow and the MailOnline, to be irresponsible and in breach of the CAP Code. The advertisement in question showed a child (believed by the ASA to be aged between 7 and 11) wearing a high cut bikini, make up, and posing in a “coquettish manner”.

The ASA contacted Alibaba for comments however the online retailing giant did not respond. NewsNow and the MailOnline both stated that the advertisement was automatically uploaded to their websites after being “served programmatically”, i.e. due to algorithmic software which places digital content.

The ASA upheld the complaints. They warned Alibaba not to use the advertisement again in the future and that any further content should not portray underage models in a sexual manner.

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