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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 October 2006, 00:11 GMT 01:11 UK
'Offensive' shower gel ad banned
A television advert for shower gel which featured a young-looking model has been banned after the industry watchdog ruled it "offensive".

A naked woman sitting under a lemon tree is featured in the PZ Cussons advert for Original Source shower gel.

Some 29 people complained because the model appeared to be under 16 and was depicted in a sexually provocative way.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld the complaints. The firm said it was "surprised and concerned".

The ASA said the combination of nudity and the shots of the model's pose were likely to be seen by viewers to have sexual overtones.

As some viewers were likely to believe the model was a child, the overtones and nudity were offensive, inappropriate and likely to cause serious or widespread offence, the watchdog concluded.

We of course accept the ASA judgment - however we do believe we have acted responsibly
Chris Thompson
PZ Cussons

PZ Cussons has been told not to repeat the advert in its original form.

The company said the advert was intended to represent the naturalness of the product, and provided assurances that the model was an adult at the time of casting.

It said a naturally blonde "outdoorsy" model had been used to emphasise the "naturalness" theme they had chosen, and she was shown with no make-up.

It said it was "very surprised and concerned" that the advert had been perceived as offensive by some people.

Quickly changed

PZ Cussons' marketing director Chris Thompson said: "We of course accept the ASA judgment. However we do believe we have acted responsibly.

"We have abided by the necessary advertising codes and gained clearance before airing the advert from the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre.

"Once it became clear that some people were offended by this advert we acted quickly to change it without waiting for the ASA investigation.

"The content was reviewed widely before it reached the screen. No-one raised concerns about it and we certainly did not expect complaints of this nature."

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