London department store Harvey Nichols got into a bit of hot water with homophobes for their 2012 "love thyself" beauty campaign. The ads show women who are about to make out with their own reflections. The idea being, "you'll love your new look so much, you'll go to town on yourself!" It's cute and harmless; I dig it. Plus, give me that eyeshadow, please.
However, I guess the cheeky adverts (British for "fun ads") were too much for some folks:
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 17 complaints about the adverts: nine that the images were unsuitable to be seen by children because they appeared to show a lesbian kiss, 10 that they were sexually explicit and two that the phrase 'love thyself' in combination with the pictures was offensive on religious grounds.
On Wednesday, the ASA made the ruling that the ads didn't show an almost-kiss between two lesbians, but instead a woman making out with herself, and so Harvey Nichols didn't have to go to the gallows, or whatever.
However, the department store awesomely/sanely argued that even though the ads weren't lesbian in nature, it wouldn't fucking matter if they were. They said, "The advertising industry should be in the vanguard of those promoting and supporting the equalities espoused by anti-discrimination laws, including those concerning sexual orientation."
Thankfully, the ASA followed up with reason:
We acknowledged that some complainants had interpreted the posters differently and had understood them to depict a lesbian kiss. Although we recognised that some people might have found what they perceived to be a portrayal of a lesbian kiss distasteful, we considered that a reference to homosexuality in an ad would be unlikely in itself to cause widespread or serious offence or constitute irresponsible advertising.
ASA, here's a few words of advice for the future. The next time people are homophobic about an ad, just ignore them. This shouldn't have ever been a deal to begin with; these ads are ridiculously mild compared to much of the advertising depicting heterosexual sexiness. And if you don't want to ignore these idiot complainers, just send a picture of a woman fisting another woman. Attach a note that reads thusly: "Get back to us when this is on the front door of Tesco." Problem solved.