Honey Birdette has been targeted for breaching the Australian Association of National Advertisers code of ethics.
The lingerie company, which was recently acquired by Playboy-owner PLBY Group, broke several sections of the code, which relate to explicit language, using sex appeal in an ‘exploitative or degrading’ manner, and treating sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity.
The business didn’t respond to the breach, and didn’t respond to the Ad Standards Community Panel’s decisions that its advertising, which showed a woman wearing a collar in lingerie, is ‘objectifying’ and ‘degrading’ to women, and was inappropriate for display in a public space.
The panel said that while it appeared the woman in the advertisement was voluntarily taking part in a consensual act between adults, it also implied the woman was being treated as ‘property’ by the other individual who is not in frame.
“The Panel considered that the combination of the BDSM-style lingerie and the collar amounted to a strong suggestion of sexual activity, which most members of the community would find confronting and inappropriate to be displayed in a shopping centre window,” the panel’s report said.
According to Mumbrella, Honey Birdette had previously been found in breach of Ad Standards, and said that it had never intended to create controversy with its advertising.
“They couldn’t be further from being ‘porn’ style,” the brand said.
“We are a company run by women, for women, who firmly believe in female empowerment.”