SA’s Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) found nothing wrong with The Sex Expo's advert of a woman's buttocks in a G-string after 13 complainants said it was offensive, degrading to women, and harmful to children, reports News24.

Although the ARB noted the concern about the image on the poster, it states the photo in itself was not offensive.

No inappropriate body parts are shown, and the image isn't depicting any sensual act.

‘The same image could be used to sell underwear, or be seen on a beach, without the same level of concern. It would therefore appear that it is not actually the image that is causing offence but the context.’

The ARB said publicly mentioning sex and selling sex-related products is not banned in SA, and the event itself is legal.

‘This being the case, the association between the image and the product cannot be described as problematic,’ the ARB said. 

For this reason, the poster was not offensive and problematic, it added. Regarding the gender issue, the ARB conceded the advert sparked discomfort, given the use of a woman's disembodied body parts to promote a sex expo.

However, the image was neither degrading, overly sexual, or negative, it said, adding it did not find the ad to be gender stereotypical or a negative portrayal of women.

Regarding children's safety when it comes to advertising, the ARB said the image was not overly provocative, and the event being promoted was legal.

‘While the association between the image and The Sex Expo would likely lead to some questions from enquiring children, the posters themselves do not contain any information about the content of the event, or what a person might be likely to encounter there. It also contains no information about the act of sex. This makes it entirely possible for a parent to explain as much or as little as they are comfortable with.’

Full News24 report

ARB ruling