In the UK, Temu advertisements have been prohibited for sexualizing a child and objectifying women.

Five Temu adverts have been banned in the UK for their explicit and sexual content, which includes the sexualization of a child and the objectification of women. The e-commerce company received a warning about not presenting adults as mere sexual stereotypes or portraying minors in a sexualized manner in future advertisements. Several of these banned adverts featured disembodied images of women in tight and revealing clothing.

One particularly concerning ad, displayed on a regional newspaper website, depicted a young girl aged between eight and 11 wearing a bikini in a manner deemed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) as inappropriate for her age. This image was placed alongside ads for household items like balloon ties, a facial roller, and a jockstrap. The ASA expressed concerns that these products could be misinterpreted as having sexual connotations, as the balloon ties and facial roller were seen as “phallic,” and the foot massager might be interpreted similarly. Moreover, the jockstrap’s design was found to be more sexually suggestive than functional by the ASA.

The media company additionally commented that the child’s pose in the advertisements had the unfortunate consequence of presenting a child in a sexualized manner and was deemed irresponsible. Furthermore, three other adverts from the retailer faced criticism for featuring women wearing tight-fitting attire that emphasized their body shape without revealing their full faces.

Temu contended that the use of faceless model images was not meant to objectify women and pointed out that other retail platforms employed a similar approach. Additionally, the website maintained that the photos depicting other products accurately represented the items for sale.

Temu acknowledged that the image featuring a child violated its marketing policy and assured it would not be displayed again. In response, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) conveyed to the retailer that portraying individuals under the age of 18 in a sexualized manner is unacceptable and emphasized the importance of responsible advertising targeting.

The ASA also instructed Temu to ensure that its future advertisements were created with a sense of responsibility towards both consumers and society.

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