Zoo gets spanking by ASA over £4,000 â€"boob job” comp

Zoo magazine has been rapped by advertising watchdogs over its “Win
A Boob Job For Your Girlfriend” competition, which attracted complaints
that it was irresponsible and insulting to women.

The Advertising
Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint about the contest,
which asked readers: “What kind of tits do you want for YOUR
girlfriend?” and offered them the chance to win £4,000 for the surgery
if they sent in pictures of their girlfriends’ chests.

The ASA
has told publisher Emap not to repeat the stunt, saying that the
approach to a “serious surgical procedure that could cause physical and
psychological damage” was irresponsible and failed to protect the
consumer.

However, Emap did manage to overturn two of the three
complaints made against it by claiming the contest was “intended to be
a parody of the view that men objectified women and of society’s
obsession with cosmetic appearance”.

As a result, the watchdog
rejected claims that the ad was offensive to women and that it was
misleading in its claim that a boob job would transform a reader’s
girlfriend “into a happier, more generous, intelligent, spiritual,
interesting, witty, caring and politically-aware version of the
slightly second-rate person she is today.”

The watchdog said: “We
noted Zoo magazine was targeted at young men and written in a humorous
style. We considered that the ad reflected the style and content of the
magazine. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or
widespread offence to readers of Zoo magazine.”

Emap had also
pointed out that the true prize in the “Boob Job” competition was
£4,000 for the reader to spend on anything he wanted, but the ASA said
it felt this was not made clear enough in the copy.

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