A lone wolf complainer pretending to misunderstand a joke behind an advert was enough to get fashion retailer Boohoo told off by the Advertising Standards Authority this week, after the term "send nudes" was included in an online ad for a coat.
Use of the well-worn internet meme was accused of being "socially irresponsible" by the complainant, as ironic and perhaps not so ironic requests for nude photos is one of the modern world's grimmest forms of internet-enabled communication. Another key factor in the decision against the retailer is Boohoo's "relatively young audience" according to the ASA, consisting of women more likely to experience pressure to share inappropriate photos because a man on the internet says so.
Boohoo sort of lied a little bit by saying the term was used "solely to describe the colour resembling that of the wearer's skin," which it is and was, but as the ASA pointed out, the specific phrase "send nudes" was "likely to be understood as referring to requests for sexual photos" and this, the experts agreed, could result in the encouragement and normalisation of sexual harassment. The advert has been uselessly hindsight-banned and Boohoo told not to attempt any more funny memes. Sound life advice we should all follow. [ASA via BBC]