Page last updated at 23:16 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 00:16 UK

'Violent' geisha advert banned

Bisazza advert in magazine
The advert for a tile firm appeared in several magazines

An advertisement showing a woman bound with rope and exposing her thighs has been banned by the industry watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the image used by tile company Bisazza implied sexual violence "had taken place or was about to".

The Italian firm said the images of a Japanese geisha were "artistic" and did not show "excessive perversion".

Geishas are renowned for their beauty and are trained to entertain men with conversation, singing and dancing.

'No nudity'

Six people complained about the advert, which appeared in magazines such as Elle Decoration, Wallpaper and The World of Interiors.

Bisazza told the watchdog the adverts were devised by renowned Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki.

His work often features Oriental women and can be seen in art galleries around the globe.

The company said the advert featured "no nudity, innuendo, wounds or scenes of excessive perversion".

But the ASA said the geisha was "shown in a submissive pose, appeared visibly upset and was shown with her kimono pushed up to expose her thigh".

"Notwithstanding the highly stylised nature of the ads, we considered the creative treatment could be seen to imply that sexual violence had taken place or was about to take place," it said.

It has banned the company from re-using the advert.

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