Brands & Merch Business News

Beats’ Blurred Lines ad OK with ASA, but only after 7.30pm

By | Published on Thursday 10 October 2013

Robin Thicke

So, as you may have noticed, the Beats company has been promoting its Pill speaker range with an advert based around Robin Thicke’s controversial summer hit ‘Blurred Lines’; perhaps market research showed that rapists were a good target demographic for overpriced speaker products.

The ad is very similar to the video for Thicke’s hit, albeit the version where the models, who apparently know they want it, are not topless.

But nevertheless, the revealing outfits said models wear and the sexually suggestive poses they adopt in the ad, not to mention the theme of the song (at least in its entirety, the reworked lyrics in the advert itself don’t actually say much), led to 97 people complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority after the commercial appeared on British TV channels.

Some complainers expressed concerns about children being exposed to the ads, while others claimed the commercial was demeaning to women. For their part, Beats said that the women in their advert were “strong individuals” who were “not subservient to the male character” (aka the still highly slappable Thicke).

The electronics firm added that the commercial showed their product being used in “strong, playful” ways that “most viewers would not see as having any sexual connotation”. Presumably they told the ASA all this in writing, so we don’t know whether Beats’ reps could really keep a straight face while making that particular claim.

Though the ASA has decided that the ad doesn’t actually breach its rules (and, to be fair, divorced from the original video and the controversy that surrounded it, the ad in itself isn’t that controversial), but said that it should not be broadcast before 7.30pm, when the little ones will all be safely asleep in bed.

Elsewhere in Beats news, the firm’s long-anticipated streaming service should go live in “the next few months”, according to the company’s COO Luke Wood, who spoke to The Next Web. That’ll presumably launch with a sexual-connotation-free advertising campaign as well, probably involving Miley Cyrus humping a cement mixer.