London, Nov 30 (ANI): A Playboy ad featuring scantily clad women was banned after it appeared on the side of a lorry parked outside a hotel popular with the elderly in a seaside town.
The van, which appeared in the picturesque seaside town of Ilfracombe in Devon in May, featured pictures of semi-naked women in seductive poses to advertise Playboy TV Chat, the Telegraph reported.
It was deliberately stationed outside The Imperial and The Osborne hotel, as the channel said most of its calls came from North Devon and many were from elderly people.
Playboy was, however, deemed to have overstepped the mark by the advertising watchdog, which branded the advert sexually provocative and irresponsible and banned it from appearing in public.
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said it had received one complaint about the van, which suggested the images were overtly sexual and unsuitable for public display.
Playboy argued that the pictures were cheeky rather than sexual, and said there was no descriptive text bringing undue attention to the nature of the service being advertised.
Phil Barry, managing director of Playboy TV Chat, described the people of North Devon as a "naughty bunch."
Staff at the hotels were surprised the location had been specially chosen by Playboy, but said the lorry had caused little offence among their guests.
"We didn't have any problem with it, no-one moaned about it. Our guests were all quite intrigued by it, it was quite funny," Stuart Cox, owner of the Osborne Hotel, said.
"I received a lot of text messages asking if there was a Playboy party at our place and I didn't know what they were referring to until I went outside and saw the lorry.
"The girls were scantily clad but you couldn't actually see anything. There's worse stuff you can see," he said.
In its assessment, the ASA said: "The ads had the potential to be seen by a large number of people, including children, who were likely to find images of scantily clad women in overtly sexual and provocative poses offensive.
"They were likely to cause serious and widespread offence and were irresponsible.
"We concluded that the ads were unsuitable for outdoor display and must not appear again in outdoor advertising," the agency said. (ANI)