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A sports bra ad by athletics brand Adidas has been banned because it featured photographs of bare breasts.

Photographs of dozens of women of different skin colours, shapes and sizes formed part of a grid used in tweets and in two posters.

The tweets were initially posted in February with the words: “We believe women’s breasts in all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort. Which is why our new sports bra range contains 43 styles, so everyone can find the right fit for them.”

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) received 24 complaints where people said the use of nudity was gratuitous and objectified women by sexualizing them and reducing them to body parts.

Several complaints were about the location of these posters in public as children were able to see them.

Twitter also received complaints, but it said that the post wasn’t found to be in breach of its own terms of service.

The advertising watchdog ruled that all three versions of the ad are likely to cause widespread offence, while Adidas said the adverts “show just how diverse breasts are” and therefore how important the correct sports bra is.

The BBC reports that the ASA said it did not think the way women were portrayed in the tweet was sexually explicit or objectified them. But it did find that the tweet was likely to be seen as explicit nudity and required careful targeting to avoid causing offence.

Image credit: Bloomberg

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