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Mortgage broker gets into ‘hot’ water over saucy magazine ad

Habito was reported to the ASA over the ad, but the complaint was dismissed after the watchdog said the ads were more fun than explicit.

Nigel Lewis

mortgage broker

Adverts for financial products are not known for being racy or, let’s be honest, that interesting but mortgage broker Habito has got into hot water after its ‘Karma Sutra’ themed magazine ad prompted a reader to complain.

Last year the company ran a two-page spread that include some saucy imagery to illustrate research it had commissioned that had found getting a mortgage made one in ten couples’ sex life ‘hell’.

While most estate agents use mortgage brokers that stick to the dowdier side of marketing their services, broker Habito left little to the imagination for readers of Grazia magazine.

The ad features illustrations of various positions from the Karma Sutra as well as various sexually-themed motifs.

In case readers were in any doubt, the illustrations were accompanied by mortgage-related descriptions including “Down-payment Doggy”, “The Standing Variable Rate”, “Prime 69” and “The Base-rate Scissor”.

Offence

An offended member of the public complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, which has dismissed the complaint after Habito pointed out that Grazia aimed at an adult audience and that that the ad was meant to be fun.

“While we acknowledged that some would find the artistic illustrations of sexual positions and accompanying descriptions distasteful, they were not explicit and we considered that most readers were likely to view the ad as a humorous play on the results of the survey,” the ASA says.

“Consequently, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to those who saw it and was not irresponsible.”

 

 

January 29, 2020

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