Giant billboards featuring an OnlyFans model wearing a bra have been cleared by the UK’s advertising watchdog following a string of complaints.
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said because the billboards were not “overtly sexual” and “did not objectify women” they were “unlikely” to offend.
It comes after the adverts, which featured an image of model Eliza Rose Watson and details of her OnlyFans account, appeared in four locations across London in June and July.
One billboard used was located around 450m from a school.
They prompted 30 complaints to the ASA – with those behind the complaints describing the picture as inappropriate for display where children could see.
However, the ASA ruled that while Watson’s clothing was revealing, the image did not feature any nudity, and the pose adopted by her was “no more than mildly sexual”.
“While we acknowledged that the image of Ms Watson and reference to OnlyFans might be distasteful to some, we considered that because the ad was not overtly sexual and did not objectify women, we therefore concluded it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence,” an ASA spokesperson said.
“The ad was shown on several posters throughout London, which was an untargeted medium, and was therefore likely to be seen by a large number of people, including children.
“However, because we considered the ad was not overtly sexual and did not objectify women, we therefore concluded the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence and had not been placed irresponsibly.”
The ASA ruled no further action was necessary.
The owner of the poster sites, Amplify Outdoor, said none of the ads were displayed within 100m of a school – with the closest being 450m.
The billboards, in Bruce Grove in Tottenham, Norwood High Street in Lambeth, and Deansbrook Road in Edgware, were later taken over by environmental campaigners Global Witness.
The activists replaced the image with one of their “OilyFans” adverts – a tongue-in-cheek comment on the pay package of BP chief executive Bernard Looney, whose earnings went from £4.5m to £10m last year.
Watson, who is from Dorset, last month told The Sun she earned around £200,000-a-month from selling explicit images on OnlyFans – an adults-only website which allows people to buy and sell explicit material.
The 34-year-old told the paper she spent around £18,000 on her advertising campaign, which included the four UK billboards and two in New York’s Times Square.
Commenting on the reaction to the billboards, she said: “If people are offended by my ad, I’m assuming they’re also complaining about Ann Summers and Jack Daniels ones.
“You see ads for gambling, alcohol, sex toys, lingerie, there is no difference between that type of adult-oriented ad and my adult-oriented ad.
“This is a real business, if a gambling or alcohol company can run their ads, which have far more devastating impacts, why not me?”