Adverts for online shopping platform Temu banned for sexualising a child and objectifying women | UK News

Five ads for Chinese shopping app Temu have been banned for being sexually graphic, sexualising a child and objectifying women.

The items being advertised included cycling underwear, a jockstrap and a child’s bikini.

A facial roller, balloon ties and a foot massager were described as “phallic shaped” and the advertising watchdog said a lack of labelling meant they “could have been interpreted as sexual in nature”.

The items appeared alongside images of women in tight-fitting and revealing clothing with their faces obscured or removed.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received five complaints that the ads were likely to cause serious or widespread offence, were irresponsible and were inappropriately targeted.

One ad featured a young girl aged between 8 and 11 in a bikini with one hand on her hip – a pose the ASA said was “quite adult for a girl of her age”.

The authority said the ad was “irresponsible” in the way it sexualised a child.

Temu said the photo had been provided by a third-party seller – as had the other images – and violated Temu’s marketing policy.

The image had been removed from its Google Ads account and would not be shown again, the company said.

The retailer also said images of models without a face were not intended to sexually objectify the women but were there to show customers “a clear representation of how the clothing was worn”.

However the ASA said the women were “presented as stereotypical sexual objects”.

Cycling underwear “could have been seen as sexual” as the padding looked like a hole in the underwear, while the jockstrap’s “accentuated crotch” appeared to be “sexual, rather than for utility”, the ASA said.

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The ads appeared in June on a regional online newspaper site, a chess website, a language translation website and a puzzle app.

The ASA ruled the ads must not appear again in their current form, adding: “We told Temu to ensure that future ads were prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society and that they did not cause serious or widespread offence by presenting products in a sexual way in general media or by presenting individuals as stereotypical sexual objects.

“In addition, persons who were or appeared to be under 18 years of age in ads must not be portrayed in a sexual way and ads must be responsibly targeted.”