ASA rules against 'sexually explicit' student night adverts

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Leeds city council Advertising Asa

The adverts appeared to link 'alcohol with sexual activity'
The adverts appeared to link 'alcohol with sexual activity'
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned ‘sexually explicit’ student night adverts by a Leeds nightclub event organiser.

Leeds City Council made seven complaints against Tequila UK over what it deemed ‘irresponsible advertising’ in the promoter’s marketing material for a student night at the Mezz bar in the city centre.

Code breach

The council claimed the content in advertisements published online breached the ASA’s advertising codes and said the material appeared to link ‘alcohol with sexual activity’, encourage ‘excessive consumption of alcohol’, use ‘sexually suggestive language and imagery and profanity’ and could be watched by people aged under 18.

The ASA found in favour of six of the seven challenges but did not uphold the complaint that the advertisements were ‘irresponsible, offensive and harmful, because they were sexist and promoted misogyny and the objectification of women.’

Tequila UK insisted that whilst the adverts may have been viewed by people aged under 18, they were not targeted at that age group. The promoter said the ads have since been removed or changed, and it has also removed all visible references to the consumption of alcohol by those aged under 25. It also ‘accepted’ that some ads ‘contained sexually suggestive language but believed that was not likely to cause offence.’

The ASA said: “The ads must not appear in their current form. We recognised the amendments made by Tequila UK to their advertising, but advised them to seek copy advice to ensure that all necessary changes were made.”

'This ruling should serve as a warning'

Graham Hyde, acting chair of Leeds City Council’s licensing committee, added: “We are pleased that the ASA has sought fit to agree with our complaints regarding this irresponsible advertising and has ruled that these adverts must never be displayed in public again. This ruling should serve as a warning to other club night organisers that we will take action if we feel that the public is being subjected to offensive and harmful advertising in our city.”

Tequila UK was unavailable for comment.

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