Growing world-class grass: Qatar’s World Cup turf and tree nurser

We’re all for a good pun and even a little lighthearted innuendo, but one astroturf supplier seems to think it’s in a Benny Hill sketch.

The company, Great Grass, has been given a good bottom-spanking by the advertising watchdog after featuring a half-naked woman on a billboard below the words: “Get laid by the best”.

Now if that wasn’t subtle enough, it the ad is headlined by the words: “ARTIFICIAL GRARSE EXPERTS”.

Naturally, the giant poster was met with outrage by many onlookers, but this didn’t phase the business.

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Instead, it insisted most people found it amusing and added that it was offensive to transgender people to assume the model was a woman.

But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) failed to see the funny side, declaring that the billboard “objectified and stereotyped women as sexual objects”.

The ASA also noted the oh-so-clever slipping in of "arse" was a reference to the model's bum, which is only vaguely covered by a pair of black knickers, and had therefore made the exposed part of her body the "focus".

The watchdog ruled that the advert can’t appear again “in its current form” and warned Great Grass that their marketing material should be “socially responsible” in the future.

It stated: “We concluded that the ad objectified and stereotyped women as sexual objects, was irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.”

The advertising watchdog was not amused by Great Grass's punsSWNS

The billboard was put up in Oldham, Greater Manchester, in September this year, and included offers for “free quotes” and “free samples” at its nearby showroom.

But the ASA said it had received three complaints suggesting that the poster was “offensive, harmful and irresponsible”.

In response, the company said they’d used the “Get laid by the best” in the past without any issues and pointed out that there had only been three complaints when the ad had been seen by thousands of people.

They assumed that later complaints were mostly generated by people on social media encouraging others to raise concerns despite probably not having seen it themselves.

But the ASA upheld the complaint against the company and said the model was being presented as a “sexual object”.

They said: “The ASA considered that those who saw the ad would understand that it featured a woman.

“The model was dressed only in underpants and was lying on her front on the grass which exposed her buttocks.

“Large text above the image stated, “ARTIFICIAL GRARSE EXPERTS”. We noted that the word ‘grass’ was spelt incorrectly to include the word “arse”.

“We considered that was likely to be understood by readers to be a reference to the model’s buttocks and had the effect of making that exposed part of her body the focus, thereby drawing attention to the ad.”

They went on: “The ad also stated, “Get laid by the best”. We considered “get laid” would be understood by readers as a slang reference to sexual intercourse.

“We considered that text, together with the model’s pose and state of undress, was sexually suggestive and would be seen as presenting the model as a sexual object.

“We acknowledged that while sunbathing, people might recline on a lawn wearing revealing clothing.

“However, we considered that in the context of the ad, in particular the references to “arse” and “get laid”, the model was portrayed as a sexual object, rather than someone who was sunbathing.”

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