Adidas' Bare-Breast Sports Bra Ad Was Just Banned In The UK For Being Too 'Explicit'

The photos show breasts but no bras 👀

Senior Global Editor
Women wearing Adidas sports bras.​

Women wearing Adidas sports bras.

Adidas tried to do something different with a sports bra ad featuring a photo wall of women's bare breasts, but the United Kingdom says it went too far by using nudity to promote clothing that's not in the pictures.

The U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority decided to ban the ad campaign on Monday, after receiving complaints arguing that it objectified and sexualized women by "reducing them to their body parts." The ruling also pointed out that the ad about sports bras only includes textual mentions of said bras.

Adidas made a big splash when it launched the international ad campaign in February with a tweet featuring 20 photos of women's bare breasts.

"We believe women’s breasts in all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort," read the Twitter post. "Which is why our new sports bra range contains 43 styles, so everyone can find the right fit for them."

The original tweet picked up more than 15,000 retweets and 35,000 likes on Twitter, where the rules around nudity are more lax than on Instagram or Facebook. The sportswear brand has also rolled out public advertising for the campaign in several countries.

"It's perfectly natural to have breasts," Adidas tweeted at one of its many critics in February, shortly after it dropped the photo wall on Twitter. "We are happy to celebrate that and won't be taking this down so we can keep doing so."

However, the U.K.'s ASA says the ads are "likely to be seen as explicit nudity."

The ads will not be allowed on posters or billboards in the U.K., the ASA ruled.

The ruling shows Adidas U.K. tried to push back, arguing that it didn't post the images near schools or religious sites. It also argued that the breasts were not being depicted in a sexualized way, although the ASA was not convinced it was appropriate that the ad could be seen by children at all.

Adidas has adapted the ad campaign for Instagram and in other countries with photo walls of women wearing its bras.

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