According to Blabbermouth.net
, a poster for Steel Panther
's new album, "Balls Out
", was deemed "overtly sexual
" by the Advertising Standards Authority
The ASA is the U.K.'s independent regulator of advertising across all media, now including marketing on web sites. They work to ensure ads are legal, decent, honest and truthful by applying the Advertising Codes.
The poster ads for "Balls Out" (based on the album's front cover) featured a scantily clad woman leaning back, showing a fair amount of skin with her hand by her crotch holding a sting of two metal balls.
A domestic abuse charity complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, claiming the posters were offensive as the picture of the woman was demeaning and overtly sexual. They also questioned whether it was suitable for being displayed where children might see it.
The band's label, Universal Island Records, countered that it was meant to be so over the top that no one would take it seriously and so it didn't actually undermine women, adding that it was mostly put up in places like clubs and bars where adults went for nights out and they weren't aware of them being close to any schools.
They hadn't actually checked though and admitted more care should have been taken in choosing where to put the posters.
ASA upheld the complaint though, noting that "the poster was not meant to cause offence or be seen as demeaning to women
", but continuing, "we considered that the main image on the poster was overtly sexual. We noted that the pose of the woman showed her with her legs apart, her hand between her legs and her breasts partially exposed and considered that her facial expression was suggestive of an orgasm and sexual activity. In addition to this, we considered that the album title 'Balls Out' was sexually suggestive particularly when viewed in the context of the poster, where the woman was seen dangling two silver balls between her legs in a way that we considered was suggestive of male genitalia.
ASA concluded that it "was likely to cause serious and widespread offence, was unsuitable to be seen by children and therefore was not appropriate for outdoor advertising.