New Zealand Regulatory Agency Rules on Sex Toy Window Displays

New Zealand Regulatory Agency Rules on Sex Toy Window Displays

AUCKLAND — The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a New Zealand advertising industry self-regulatory agency, has affirmatively ruled for the window displays of adult retailers that include sex toys.

The ruling is in response to a formal complaint filed by Auckland mother Lynne Low, according to a report in Stuff. Low, who also petitioned the New Zealand Parliament to have the sex toys removed, held a protest with her children outside of the DVX adult entertainment store. The store had been displaying "Fetish Fantasy Series bondage products, some pink fluffy handcuffs, a pink whip and five packets of Ovo vibrators."

The ASA, however, ruled that as long as the window displays weren't depicting anything "sexually explicit" then simply displaying pleasure products did not rise to the level of being obscene. 

"The Complaints Board did not uphold a complaint about the display of sex toys in the shop window," said the ASA's ruling. "This is because the presentation of the toys in the shop window display was not sexually explicit and was not likely to cause serious or widespread offense."

Originally there had also been displays of bondage gear in packaging featuring pictures of people using the products. Once the packaging was removed, with just the products remaining, the ASA considered the matter settled.

"The Complaints Board agreed the complaint about the display of bondage products at the DVX adult entertainment store in New Lynn Auckland was settled," the ruling continued. "This is because the Advertiser had removed the bondage sets from the shop window display."

Low originally held a protest outside of the store with her children, holding up a sign reading "Let's Keep Our Public Spaces Safe For Our Little Faces," after the store owner refused to remove the items, citing freedom of speech.

"I go through efforts to put safety filters on my children's devices … and I can't stop them from looking at this stuff on the street corner," Low told Stuff in January. "It's not okay to teach innocent children that it's okay for women to be tied up for sex."

But the ASA, which is not a government agency but is made up of various members of the advertising industry in New Zealand, felt the altered display did not violate the Advertising Code standard, which reads: "Advertisements must not contain anything that is indecent, or exploitative, or degrading, or likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence, or give rise to hostility, contempt, abuse or ridicule."

Read the complete article by Rob Stock here.

Image source: Stuff

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