The billboard image of a naked woman on all fours with a large arrow provocatively placed below her and preceded by the words “entrance this way” was an unacceptable way to advertise the Erotica Lifestyles Expo, the Advertising Standards Authority decided.
The Erotica Expo, promoted by [the hardcore porn company] Eden Digital and its former director, porn tycoon Steve Crow, is an adult entertainment convention held annually. Steve Crow resigned from the company in May. [John Malcolm Carr has remained on as its sole director].
There were two complainants about this image, both with similar arguments.
The image was “offensive and inappropriate for public display,” according to one complainant from Palmerston North.
Unlike other cities where the expo had taken place, Palmerston North’s city centre was frequented by families visiting the central library and shopping. The billboard was clearly visible from the library and cafes in the area, the complainant said.
The complainant took particular objection to the arrow and statement “entrance this way” as it represented the direction for sexual intercourse and made the billboard even more offensive.
In response, Eden Digital [directed by John M Carr] said the Office of Film and Literature Classification had previously approved the image with no display restrictions.
The complainants’ comments that the use of the arrow alluded to sexual intercourse was unintended, quite disturbing and complainants should be placed on a watch list of some sort, Eden Digital said in a statement to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Eden Digital went on to say the sign was stolen in April and suggested the complainants were the culprits.
After considering whether the advertisement had been prepared with a sense of social responsibility to consumers and society, the ASA upheld the complaints.
While the advertiser was entitled to promote the expo, the image of the naked woman on all fours was unacceptable, the ASA said in its deliberation.
The image had been before the board previously and in keeping with its previous determination of a similar advertisement, it found that basic principles and code of ethics were breached.