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ASB rules on hotel's lewd banner

This banner displayed outside the Star Hotel 18 months ago sparked complaints. New complaints regarding the recent banner, which was ordered down, described this one as ‘mild’ in comparison.
This banner displayed outside the Star Hotel 18 months ago sparked complaints. New complaints regarding the recent banner, which was ordered down, described this one as ‘mild’ in comparison.

THE provocative image of a woman on all fours displayed by an Emerald Hotel has been ordered down after it was found to be “strongly sexualised” and in breach of the Advertising Standards Board Code of Ethics.

The banner, displayed Monday to Friday after 7pm outside the Star Hotel, depicted the figure of a woman wearing a very small bikini, lying on her stomach with a thin black cord around her waist. The woman’s left breast was showing, her backside was thrust in the air facing public view and her legs were slightly apart.

Her face could not be seen and the caption read “Skimpy Girls here”.

An ASB investigation was prompted by complaints received from members of the community.

“This type of advertising would not be acceptable on television until late at night but it is up early in the evening when people are about with their children at local restaurants several doors up in the same street,” one complainant said.

According to the ASB, the board considered the pose of the woman, especially the suggestion she is available for sex, to be strongly sexualised.

“The board noted the relevant audience for the advertisement, which even though only put out at 7pm, is still broad and given the highly sexualised image it is likely the advertisement will be found offensive by many people who would see it,” the ASB case report stated.

Star Hotel owner Andrew Ludlow declined to comment to the Central Queensland News yesterday, but in a response to the ASB said the banner had been up at night to no complaint for over six months.

After hearing of the determination, Mr Ludlow told the board he had decided to remove the banner from external advertising independently of the ASB decision and had already ordered a replacement. Residents can expect to get their first glimpse of the new sign after it arrives later this week.

In January 2010, the town was divided over a different banner depicting another near naked woman displayed outside the Star Hotel.

Complainants recently told the ASB the banner displayed 18 months ago was “mild compared to this one”.


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