ASA clears car 'sex' TV advert

A television advert for comparison site Confused.com has been cleared following 137 complaints that it contained offensive sexual references and was degrading to women.

The ad showed a robot called Brian knocking on the window of a parked car, startling a man in the driving seat before a woman in the passenger seat, who was bent down out of view, sprang upright.

The ad was cleared with a post 9pm restriction.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the majority of complainants objected that the ad was offensive because they believed there was implied reference to oral sex, a number said it was offensive for children to see and a "small number" believed it was degrading to women.

Inspop.com, trading as Confused.com, said the ad featured a fully-clothed couple in their car outside of their house about to set off on a journey.

They said the couple was shown to be stunned by the appearance of the robot, the woman sat up from the footwell on her side of the vehicle, and neither the man nor the woman showed any indication of inappropriate or sexual activity.

The ASA acknowledged concerns that the presentation of the ad included an implied reference to oral sex, but said it contained no explicit reference to sex and no explicit sexual imagery.

Clearing the ad, it said: "Whilst we acknowledged that some viewers might find the ad distasteful, we considered it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence."