Sex sells — It’s easy to see that in this age of advertising. How far a company is willing to go is always up for debate, and Kazam landed itself in hot water with Britain over its latest racy advertisement for the company’s newest smartphone.
The Kazam Tornado 348, which the company dubs as the slimmest smartphone in the world, was supposed to be the focal point of the ad. Instead, for the large majority of it, we see nothing more than a woman walking around her apartment, wearing nothing but her underwear. If anything, unless someone explicitly told you what the ad was for, you’d think it was advertising underwear.
Eight people made formal complaints to Britain’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), arguing the content of the ad had nothing to do with the Tornado 348. As a result, the ASA pulled the TV ad on the grounds that it was sexually suggestive, thus violating the U.K. Code of Broadcast Advertising.
“The ASA noted that much of the ad focused entirely on the actor in her underwear, including scenes that featured several close-up shots that lingered over her breasts, buttocks and lips, which we considered were sexually suggestive,” read the ruling. “Additionally, this was heightened by the suggestive nature of the music and voice-over and further reinforced because the focus on the woman bore no relevance to the advertised product.”
For its part, Kazam defended the ad, arguing it was “tongue in cheek,” and that it wasn’t showing during programs that primarily have a young viewership. In addition, the company didn’t take issue with the ad, since the phone was so slim the woman did not notice it in her shirt pocket as she was ironing it, playing on the “well-known scenario” of ironing your shirt in your underwear before going out.
As it stands, the ad cannot be rebroadcasted, though it’s still available to watch through Kazam’s YouTube channel. Kazam was warned by the ASA to not objectify women in any of its future ads.
You can watch the ad down below and decide for yourself.