Lingerie company has controversial ad banned

Allison Yee
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

They’re notorious for their outrageously raunchy marketing when it comes to their lingerie campaigns, and Australian company Honey Birdette have come under fire again for their latest ad.

In its 13th banned ad since 1998, the brand’s latest campaign image sees a model wearing a revealing lace G-string and bra set, with the model’s nipples on display.


Complaints were issued to Ad Standards, with consumers offended by the placement of the ad in local shopping centres and “passed by numbers of families – small children, teenagers, parents – day in, day out.”

“This legitimisation of using woman’s naked bodies to sell underwear is inappropriate,” Mumbrella reported one of the complaints reading.

“Other manufacturers sell underwear/ lingerie and do not portray woman in this way nor do it in full view of young boys and girls.”

Ad Standards – who have ruled on 28 different ads from the company – found that while the photo wasn’t exploitative, the “level of nudity was at the higher end of the scale and the image was highly sexualised”.

Honey Birdette has slammed the “ridiculous” decision to ban the ad.

“How is it that men’s nipples do not warrant complaint, however a highly faded female nipple that is covered by a lace bra can now lead to sexual assault,” Managing Director, Eloise Monaghan said in a statement.


“Should we suggest that all women wear full head to toe swimwear to the beach to avoid being sexually assaulted? It’s the most offensive non-sensical rubbish and it’s 2018.

“Ad Standards are fully aware that we are a target and these complaints are engineered by a certain group of religious zealots that want women wearing white gloves and a veil under the pretense of ‘protect the children’. Look at the image! No child is looking at that and saying ‘I’m offended’ .

“It’s a frightening development for the modern woman and Ad Standards should be ashamed of themselves. We are here to empower woman and we are going to continue to do that.”


The lingerie company last came under fire for their raunchy Christmas ads last November, which showed a nearly nude model straddling St Nick with the caption “Sorry kids, we gave Santa the night off”.

Women’s rights activist Melinda Tankard Reist, 54, claimed many of the shopfront ads – located in malls across Australia – were clearly visible from where children can queue to meet Father Christmas.


The Canberra mum-of-four said the posters displayed “predatory behaviour” and would confuse children.

“This advertisement is just sick,” said Melinda. “It is degrading to women and girls and teaches men and boys that this kind of behaviour is acceptable.

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