Mini Cheddars 'sister or stripper?' ad escapes censure

LONDON – A poster for McVities Mini Cheddars featuring a woman dressed in a PVC nun's costume has prompted complaints that it is tasteless, offensive and unsuitable for children.

People who approached the Advertising Standards Authority about the ad also complained that it ridiculed the Christian faith.

The poster was headlined "Sister or stripper?" and featured eight photographs of women dressed as nuns, with one wearing a PVC costume. A line copy at the bottom of the ad read: "You know where you are with baked Mini Cheddars."

United Biscuits claimed the ad was meant to be light-hearted and humorous and was not directed at children. However, the company said it did not plan to use the ad again.

The ASA rejected the complaints, agreeing the ad was likely to be seen as light-hearted and unlikely to cause serious offence.

However, the regulator noted that Publicis, which created the ad, had contacted the CAP Copy Advice team before publishing the poster. Publicis had been advised that the ad was unsuitable for publication because it could cause offence on religious grounds.

Separately, the ASA upheld complaints about national press ad for the Seat Leon Cupra R on the grounds that it was irresponsible and encouraged reckless driving and speeding.

The ad pictured three car pedals. The brake and clutch were pristine but the accelerator pedal showed extensive wear. Seat said the ad was designed to convey the enjoyment of driving but the ASA said it placed an undue emphasis on speed. Seat UK was asked to amend the ad.

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