Billboards showing model Eliza Rose Watson in underwear advertising her OnlyFans account page have been cleared by the regulator following complaints that they were inappropriate for children to see.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 30 complaints that the posters seen in Harrow, Tottenham, Lambeth and Edgware in June and July featured sexual adult content and were inappropriate for display in an untargeted medium.
The posters featured an image of the top half of the model and influencer posing in a bra top, with text stating @ElizaRoseWatson alongside the logos of the OnlyFans and Instagram social media platforms.
All the complainants, who understood that OnlyFans was an internet content subscription service which featured sexual adult content, challenged whether the ad was inappropriate for display where children could see it.
Many believed the ad was overly sexualised and objectified women and complained that it was offensive, harmful and irresponsible.
Watson said the ad adhered to advertising guidelines and reflected leading trends, adding that she tailored it to “avoid offensiveness to mature viewers and intrigue to the younger generation”.
Amplify Outdoor, the owner of the poster sites, said none of the ads were displayed within 100 metres of a school, with the closest being 450 metres from the nearest school.
Clearing the ads, the ASA said that although Watson’s clothing was revealing, the image did not feature any nudity, and the pose adopted by her was “no more than mildly sexual”.
The ASA said: “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.
“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.
Environmental activists Global Witness later took over three of the poster sites, on Bruce Grove in Tottenham, Norwood High Street in Lambeth, and Deansbrook Road in Edgware, to comment on the pay package of BP chief executive Bernard Looney, whose earnings went from £4.5 million to £10 million last year.
Global Witness said its ‘OilyFans’ replacement of the previous adverts was a light-hearted jest about a serious topic.