NSFW Demi Lovato advert banned by watchdog for appearing in place ‘where children could see it’

NSFW Demi Lovato advert banned by watchdog for appearing in place ‘where children could see it’

Related video: Demi Lovato reveals that she is 'back in the studio' on TikTok

Bang Showbiz/VideoElephant

'Heart Attack'singer Demi Lovato has received a telling off from the UK’s advertising watchdog, after an advert showing her “bound in a bondage-style outfit” on a crucifix was banned because children were “likely to see it”.

The ad for the former Camp Rock star’s latest album Holy Fvck, popped up in six sites across London for four days back in August, and contained the revealing cover artwork featuring Lovato.

Four individuals filed complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) questioning whether the advert had the potential to cause “serious or widespread offence”, with some of them also challenging whether the ad was “irresponsibly placed” somewhere where children could see it.

In its ruling published on Wednesday, the ASA wrote: “Because we considered the ad was likely to be seen as referring to a swear word that many would find offensive and had appeared in in an untargeted medium and public space where children were also likely to see it, we considered that the ad was likely to result in serious and widespread offence and had been targeted irresponsibly.”

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

It also decided to rule on whether the advert could cause offence on “religious grounds”.

The regulator continued: “We considered that the image of Lovato bound up in a bondage-style outfit whilst lying on a mattress shaped like a crucifix, in a position with her legs bound to one side which was reminiscent of Christ on the cross, together with the reference to “holy fvck’, which in that context was likely to be viewed as linking sexuality to the sacred symbol of the crucifix and crucifixion, was likely to cause serious offence to Christians.”

The ad was found to have the potential to cause 'serious offence'Polydor Records

In short, it was determined the imagery could potentially make Christians very cross (sorry).

As such, it was found to have breached two parts of the Committee of Advertising Practice’s code, and can no longer appear in its current form unless it is “suitably targeted”.

When they were approached by the ASA, Polydor Records (part of Universal Music Operations Limited) said the advert “primarily included the artwork from Demi Lovato’s newly released LP and was designed to promote the album”.

“Polydor did not believe the poster would cause serious or widespread offence. Prior to publication, they had checked with the agency that the poster was acceptable to run on the proposed sites.

“The agency had provided an assurance that it was, and Polydor had proceeded on that basis,” the ruling reads.

It isn’t the first unusual ruling made by the ASA, after a YouTuber aiming to get fired by a sponsor for making edgy adverts got banned by the watchdog instead.

It’s also shut down adverts by the Department for Levelling Up, and an artificial grass company who decided to use the phrase “get laid” in their advertising.

Indy100 has approached Lovato’s representatives for comment.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)