An advert featuring singer Robin Thicke performing his hit single ‘Blurred Lines‘ cannot be shown before 7:30pm after complaints that it was “too sexual” were upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority. The advert for Beats Pill speakers received 97 complaints with the ASA ruling that the images involved in the advert, which is based on the video for ‘Blurred Lines’ and features models dancing around the product, were “distateful” though unlikely to “cause widespread offence“. As such, the advert will remain on TV but only in the evening.
BBC News reports that the ASA acknowledged some viewers could find elements of the advert distasteful, especially the shots of women on all fours. However, as the offensive shots were brief, it did not consider the ad to show sustained or over overtly sexual or provocative behaviour.” Meanwhile, ‘Blurred Lines‘ was banned by The University of Leeds‘ student union in September, making it the second university in the UK the song is now blacklisted by.
The controversial track, which features the lyrics “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two” has been branded by critics as sexist, with allegations that it promotes non-consensual sex with the chorus “I hate these blurred lines“. The song was also outlawed in student buildings at the University of Edinburgh. Thicke has claimed that the song’s lyrics were a “feminist movement within itself“. He said: “It’s supposed to stir conversation, it’s supposed to make us talk about what’s important and what the relationship between men and women is, but if you listen to the lyrics it says ‘That man is not your maker’ – it’s actually a feminist movement within itself.”