DANIELLE TEUTSCH

Rubbed the wrong way … the offending advertisement with Pamela Anderson.

A COMMERCIAL featuring Pamela Anderson in a gold bikini rubbing against another scantily clad woman while being sprayed with a white liquid has “crossed the line” in bad taste and been banned from Australian television.

But the company responsible for the ad, Crazy Domains, a business that registers internet domain names, is fighting the decision. A spokesman for the Perth company said the ad was no worse than some music video clips.

The Advertising Standards Bureau upheld a complaint about the ad, after receiving more than 40 submissions, stating it went too far in objectifying women. “It’s meant to be a cheeky, over-the-top depiction but in the bureau’s view it did cross the line,” bureau chief executive Fiona Jolly said.

The 30-second ad, aired on free-to-air and pay television, prompted scathing remarks from viewers.

They included: “It is all about sex, got nothing to with domains, unless it’s to start a porn site”, and “This is overtly sexist and exploitative. It belittles women in the workforce and portrays them as sexual property”.

Crazy Domains managing director Gavin Collins said the ad was “tongue in cheek” and blamed feminist bloggers for stirring up complaints. He asked for a review of the decision. “This decision makes no sense and is completely un-Australian – we’re certainly not going to take this lying down,” Mr Collins said. “Have you seen Video Hits on a Saturday morning? There are much more graphic and sexually explicit images on that show every week … during a morning timeslot.”

Last year, the bureau banned an ad for Coca-Cola Zero featuring pole dancers. It also axed an ad by Nando’s for a burger, featuring a large-breasted woman who could not see the chips on her plate.

But Mr Collins said the ASB had been inconsistent. He said complaints about a Lynx deodorant commercial where air hostesses had attended to the needs of male passengers – including a direct reference to the mile-high club – had been dismissed.

He said his company’s ad had been screened with restrictions: it could only be shown in the M-rated time period during selected programs.

Ms Jolly said the ASB was conducting research about the issue of sexualised imagery of women: “That’s an area where there seems to be more complaints coming.”