The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled in favour of a complaint made against a Mobile Strike advertisement which featured three curvy bikini-clad women playing the game by a pool. The reason for the complaint was that the offended party felt it objectified women.
Developer, Machine Zone claim they used the models (Olivia Jensen, Tabria Majors, and Dana Patterson) as a nod to Mobile Strike’s diverse player base and that they believe the complaint was actually carried out because of the size of the models rather than objectification.
They said they had concerns that the complainant’s objection was the size of the women featured rather than what they were wearing or doing in the ad. They suspected that had the women been typically thin models seen in ads, it was unlikely that a complaint would have been made. They had decided to feature “real-sized women” as a nod to their diverse player base.
In the ASA ruling, the watchdog wrote
The ASA noted that the images of the women wearing swimwear bore no relation to the product being advertised – a combat-themed mobile game app. We also noted that in some of the scenes, the mannerisms of the women were seductive or sexually-charged.
The ruling ended by saying that the women wearing swimsuits had nothing to do with the product it was selling and therefore:
We noted that the ad featured plus-sized models but we considered that fact was irrelevant. For those reasons, we considered that the ad objectified women and was therefore offensive.
Developer Machine Zone previously paid $5 million for a 30-second Super Bowl advert featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger reciting some of his famous lines while walking through a miniature war zone.