A perfume commercial featuring Beyoncé has been banned from daytime TV in Britain amid concerns over its sexual imagery, reports Daily Mail, London.
The commercial, which begins with an image of the singer lying naked in a room, has been deemed ‘too sexually provocative' to be seen by young children and will not be shown on British TV before 7.30pm.The Advertising Standards Authority investigated the advert – which appeared on ITV and Channel 4 as well as music channels – after it received 14 viewer complaints.
The 29-year-old American singer, full name Beyonce Knowles, is married to rapper Jay-Z. She is renowned for her skimpy stage costumes and sexually charged performances.
Manufacturers of the perfume claimed the commercial was in tune with her ‘sexy chic' imagery and not in any way indecent. It argued that the imagery was less overtly sexual than what is routinely seen in music videos, particularly those featuring U.S. rappers and bikini-clad girls.
The ad shows the singer lying naked in the middle of a room. In the next scene she is shown wearing a revealing red satin dress and walking towards the camera, touching her neck and moving her hand across her chest.
She runs her hand along a wall, leaving a trail of fire as she touches it. She is then shown leaning against a window, moving her hand down her neck and caressing her breast.
She begins dancing seductively with the camera showing her chest, back and thighs.
The ad closes with Beyoncé walking away from the camera, her footprints melting the floor. She turns and says: ‘Catch the fever.' A male voiceover then says: ‘Beyoncé Heat. The first fragrance, by Beyoncé.'
Coty UK, which makes the fragrance in partnership with the singer, claimed the ad was stylised in keeping with other ads in the genre, and not overtly graphic or explicitly sexual. At at no point was Beyonce naked, they added. A spokesman said: ‘The ad was intended to reflect the singer Beyonce's personal “sexy chic” style.'
‘It was aimed at a vast selection of music programmes to target a young adult audience. It would therefore be consistent with the expectations of viewers of those sorts of programmes, they claimed.
The watchdog accepted the advert was not obscene or offensive but was unhappy that it had been shown on daytime TV. It said: ‘Several complainants had told us their children had seen the ad broadcast during the middle of the day around family programmes.'
But it added that although the advert ‘was sexually suggestive and might therefore be distasteful to some', in the context of marketing for perfume it was ‘unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to most viewers'.
‘Although we considered that the ad was unlikely to be harmful to adults or older children, we considered that Beyonce's body movements and the camera's prolonged focus on shots of her dress slipping away created a sexually provocative ad that was unsuitable to be seen by young children.
Beyonce's move into fragrances, fashion design and a host of commercial tie-ups have made her the second most successful celebrity woman in the U.S. in terms of earning power. Earnings last year have been estimated at $89 million, putting her second only to Oprah Winfrey.
Any criticism that she is too sexually provocative is likely to enhance rather than harm her earning potential.Her record label Sony had no comment on behalf of the star.