Rely on the most comprehensive, up-to-date legal content designed and curated by lawyers for lawyers
Work faster and smarter to improve your drafting productivity without increasing risk
Accelerate the creation and use of high quality and trusted legal documents and forms
Streamline how you manage your legal business with proven tools and processes
Manage risk and compliance in your organisation to reduce your risk profile
Stay up to date and informed with insights from our trusted experts, news and information sources
Access the best content in the industry, effortlessly — confident that your news is trustworthy and up to date.
Find up-to-date guidance on points of law and then easily pull up sources to support your advice with Lexis PSL
Check out our straightforward definitions of common legal terms.
Our trusted tax intelligence solutions, highly-regarded exam training and education materials help guide and tutor Tax professionals
Access our unrivalled global news content, business information and analytics solutions
Insurance, risk and compliance intelligence using big data, proprietary linking and advanced analytics.
A leading provider of software platforms for professional services firms
In-depth analysis, commentary and practical information to help you protect your business
LexisNexis Blogs shed light on topics affecting the legal profession and the issues you're facing
Legal professionals trust us to help navigate change. Find out how we help ensure they exceed expectations
Lex Chat is a LexisNexis current affairs podcast sharing insights on topics for the legal profession
Discuss the latest legal developments, ask questions, and share best practice with other LexisPSL subscribers
When you are running a sales promotion, it is important to make sure that you don't breach any self-regulatory rules. The ASA recently upheld complaints about a competition for subscribers to The Sun’s Dream Team fantasy football competition to win a date with a Page Three girl. Helen Hart looks at what the decision means for advertisers and their legal advisers.
An email sent to subscribers to The Sun's Dream Team fantasy football competition invited subscribers to create a Mini League and said that if they recruited more than ten players to it they would be entered into a prize draw for a date with a Page Three girl, saying:
'Don't listen to your girlfriend when she says size doesn't matter. The bigger your Mini League is, the more prizes you can get your mitts on.'
It also included the wording:
'We might even let you pick which one, so feel free to start your research now...'
The ASA received 1,036 complaints, many of which were submitted as part of a campaign led by a global campaign organisation called SumOfUs.org. The complainants said that to offer a date with a Page Three girl as a prize was sexist and objectified women, and challenged whether the advertisement was offensive and socially irresponsible. Many of the complainants also challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible for offering a date with a Page Three girl as an incentive to gamble. The ASA investigated the complaints under the UK Code of Advertising, Direct Marketing and Sales Promotions, rr 1.3 (responsible advertising), 4.1 (harm and offence), 8.7 (sales promotions), and 16.1 (gambling) of the (CAP code).
News UK & Ireland Ltd trading as The Sun explained that Page Three celebrities (both male and female) had featured as mini-league chairmen and participated in the Dream Team game and their inclusion was not sexist, nor did it objectify women. They said they did not use seductive, glamorous or inappropriate images in their promotional emails or on their website. They also highlighted that Page Three was an associated brand of The Sun and its use in the promotion was not random or unconnected. They believed their audience would understand the link between the two brands. Page Three celebrities were people who their readers would know and would like the opportunity to meet, and they ran promotions involving the chance to meet both men and women. The Sun believed that the promotion was appropriate for their target audience. They said approximately 93% of the recipients of the email were male and comprised of either previous or current Dream Team players and so the email would not cause offence to those recipients. Finally, they highlighted that there were other prizes as well. The Sun also said that while Page Three celebrities might be considered famous and attractive people, their attractiveness was not portrayed as a result of, or connected to, the act of gambling. It was not intended to incentivise new people to gamble.
The ASA considered that the advertisement indirectly promoted a gambling product. In the context of the advertisement, it considered that to offer a date with a woman as a reward for success in the game was demeaning to women and objectified those offered as prizes. It also considered that the wording 'we might even let you pick which one, so feel free to start your research now ...', further enhanced the impression that the women were simply objects to be selected at the whim and enjoyment of the winner, and had no choice in the matter themselves. The ASA also considered that the primary motivation of a number of players, both male and female, when signing up to the Dream Team game would be their interest in sport and fantasy football. It considered they would not necessarily expect a date with a Page Three girl to be offered as a prize and that the notion of offering a date with a woman as a prize was likely to be offensive to a number of recipients. Because the ASA considered that the email presented the women as objects to be won, it concluded that it was sexist, offensive and socially irresponsible and therefore breached the CAP Code.
It is nothing new for the ASA to be upholding complaints about advertisements that are considered to be sexist. However, it is of note that there was a concerted campaign to direct complaints to the ASA on this particular promotion, and advertisers should be aware that this could happen more and more. Social media makes it easy for groups to engage support for complaints. It is not unusual for competitions to feature prizes of meetings with celebrities such as sporting stars, but in this case the promotion was carried out in a way that left it open to challenge.
Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK
* denotes a required field
0330 161 1234