Adidas’ sports bra advert ban opens up discussion on female body diversity

Adidas' sports bra advert ban opens up discussion on female body diversity, but was it all just a tactical PR stunt or a ground-breaking campaign on femininity?

The sportswear brand saw its advert banned by the Advertising Standards Authority on the grounds of objectifying women.

Adidas’ campaign featured several pairs of female breasts in a bid to promote the diversity their new range of sports bras would offer but, after receiving 24 complaints, the ASA stated that the ads were gratuitous and “sexualised (women) by reducing them to body parts” as well as citing that they were able to be seen by children.

Defending their position Adidas stated it was meant to “reflect and celebrate different shapes and sizes and illustrate diversity.”

However, the other issue that has arisen as a result of Adidas’ campaign is whether they have merely chosen to jump on the female empowerment bandwagon for their own PR gain.

With Fara Darvill, from Design by Structure, pointing out: “This kind of PR stunt is a cynical and divisive tactic - while it generates discussion about the brand, it also risks alienating some customers. In this case they have taken a calculated risk as to the type of women it might offend, and with only 24 complaints to the ASA, it seems to have paid off for the brand PR-wise"

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