In a move which has prompted comparisons with the actions of a local parish priest, members of Glasgow City Council's licensing committee have banned a racy trainers' advert because it contained the word "bum". Committee members defended the ban, citing its policy on taxi advertising which prohibits any promotions which display "semi nude figures" in a "sexually provocative manner", anything offensive to "public taste", or that depicts people as "sexual objects".
The main image of the £4million marketing campaign intended to show a pair of bare female legs sporting Reebok EasyTone running shoes on the side of a number of Glasgow's black hackney taxis. Accompanying the photo of the shapely legs was to be the slogan 'Better Legs And Bum With Every Step', as well as the Greaves store brand.
A bemused female committee member questioned why the model's ankles were not more suitably attired, asking: "What’s wrong with a pair of ankle socks?
" As the bemusement spread like wildfire around an enthralled committee room, one anatomically-challenged committee member was heard to exclaim: "Why do the model's legs need to go right up to her backside?
At this point, Stephen McCranor, director of communications for Greaves sports' shops, a co-promoter of the product, pointed out that taxi adverts for family holiday companies featured bikini-clad woman, while adverts for the city's gyms featured the word "bum". However, Mr McCranor's objections were to be short-lived, as he was quickly escorted from the room by a council official after he incurred the ire of a committee member.
Afterwards, an exasberated Mr McCranor said:
"It's extremely disappointing that a multi-million pound campaign which is acceptable in major cities all over the world is deemed unacceptable by a Glasgow City Council committee, a campaign advertising training shoes.
The committee seemed to object on moral grounds due to the use of bare legs, which is ironic when you come out of City Chambers and see taxis on the road advertising lap dancing venues. We're simply advertising a pair of shoes which helps tone up your legs and backside, in line with a global campaign run by Reebok."
Councillor Gilbert Davidson, chair of the committee meeting, reponded:
"The committee considers each advert on its own merits and, if necessary, takes a democratic vote on whether it should be approved. On this occasion, the majority view was that some of the text - and also the image, which showed a pair of bare legs from just below the backside - were not appropriate."
The Evening Times produced a pic of how the ad would have looked: