After over 1000 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, the advert was banned. Full ruling here.
The ASA said, amongst other things:
“In the context of the ad, we considered that to offer a date with a woman as a reward for success in the game was demeaning to women and objectified those offered as prizes.
“We also considered that the wording ‘we might even let you pick which one, so feel free to start your research now ...’, further enhanced the impression that the women were simply objects to be selected at the whim and enjoyment of the winner, and had no choice in the matter themselves."
So how did The Sun respond? Contrition? Apology for any and all offence caused?
Don't be silly.
Under the headline "WORLD GONE MAD", they said:
“Anybody would think The Sun was running a Fantasy Slavery League and offering a woman in chains as a prize.
“Groups such as SumOfUs are professional complainants who spend their lives scouring the web for something to get outraged about. These people truly live in a fantasy world.”
Having described their competition so accurately, they then go on to accuse SumOfUs (a global campaigning group) of "living in a fantasy world" - and encouraging dreams of being able to pick your very own Page 3 girl to go on a date with isn't encouraging "living in a fantasy world"?
The fact of the matter is, yet again, The Sun fails to listen to fair critisism and does nothing but belittle those who don't agree with their world view.
They may well call people "professional complainants", but fail to understand that the ASA upheld the complaint. If there was no justification for the complaint, if it was just the result of people "scouring the web for something to get outraged about", then why did the ASA not throw it out?
And The Sun's bigotry & sexism continues...