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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 05:47 GMT 06:47 UK
'Hotbot' adult poster banned
Ann Summers
The chain says it gives women sexual confidence
An advert for sex shop chain Ann Summers has been banned after complaints it was degrading to women.

The billboard advert, displayed in the North West, prompted 22 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

It carried the words, "Lancashire hotbot ... for fashion and passion whip along to your local store".

It showed a photograph of a woman's back. She was wearing a bra and a thong and her hands were handcuffed behind her back.

Surrey-based Ann Summers claimed its adverts "intended to give women sexual confidence and always showed women in control of their sexuality".

'Serious offence'

The company also pointed out its support for charities campaigning against domestic violence.

The ASA rejected complaints that the photograph was likely to incite violence towards women.

But ruled it was degrading for women, was likely to cause "serious or widespread offence" and was unsuitable for use on a poster.

It dismissed complaints about another Ann Summers poster used in Ipswich that carried a photograph of a woman sitting down with her legs apart and a whip in her hand.

It featured the slogan "Whipswich ... for fashion and passion whip along to your local store".

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