Agent Provocateur's racy kidnap ad in the clear as brand claim sex and horror are intertwined in cinema
Advertising Standards Authority investigated ad after receiving just one complaintLingerie firm say they were inspired by Hammer horror films from the 1950s
A raunchy advertisement by upmarket lingerie firm Agent Provocateur showing four scantily clad women 'kidnapping' a woman in her own home has been cleared by advertising bosses.
Despite one complainant calling the video 'misogynistic and disturbing', the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) deemed it 'unlikely to cause widespread offence'.
The ASA launched an investigation into the film in November after receiving just one single complaint. Yesterday they announced it was fit to be aired.
The video ad, shown on the firm's website and on YouTube, shows a brunette at home in a diaphanous dressing gown being terrorised by a quartet of beautiful women dressed in peep-hole bras and knickers.
Horror: In the film, a brunette living alone in the woods is attacked by vampire-like models in lingerie. Agent Provocateur said the video was their take on the horror genre, and that it fitted in with their 'eroticism vibe'
Invaders: After dominating the brunette, the lingerie-clad women writhe on the floor and pose provocatively together – moves which appear to terrorise their prisoner
The captors wear barely there lingerie as they stalk their victim
The two-minute advert for the Soiree
Gold collection has the feel of a traditional horror film, where the
action begins in the dead of night in an apartment surrounded by trees.
The phone rings and the woman answers – but hears nothing.
It rings again and she answers, hearing only female laughter.
Suddenly, two stunning models lurch up from the floor outside her window wearing black lingerie and thigh-high boots – one flashing her breasts.
The woman shrieks in terror before the same women appear directly in front of her – staring into her eyes.
To pounding horror music the woman runs off slamming doors behind her in a desperate bid to escape the intruders before being confronted by another pair of women – one in red leopard print lingerie and another in peep-hole bra and suspenders.
The spot, called Fleurs Du Mal (Flowers Of Evil) sees the menacing beauties terrify the brunette with raunchy poses
The intruders look seductively into one another's eyes
The film was inspired by the Hammer films of the 1950s and 60s, as well as the erotic classic Vampyros Lesbos from 1971
She lets out a piercing scream and, overcome with fear, she collapses. The screen goes black and the next scene shows her being dragged across the floor, seemingly unconscious and exposing one of her own breasts before being confronted by all four models.
The victim reels in horror as she watches the rampant sexbots pose provocatively in front of her. Moments later, she is overcome and falls to the white carpet where she is ravished by all four of them.
Suddenly, she lurches up from the floor just as her captors did in the earlier scenes of the film.
She is now wearing her own set of revealing Agent Provocateur lingerie – apparently having been converted to their vampire clan. She looks seductively into the camera while the other four women stand behind her.
Overcome with fear, the brunette faints, where she is apparently ravished by the captors
The short film attracted one complaint from a viewer who said the ad was offensive as it was misogynistic and disturbing.
The ASA described the advertisement thus: 'A video on the Agent Provocateur website showed a woman in a nightgown in her home.
'She was shown answering the telephone before several women, who were wearing revealing lingerie with stockings and long boots, appeared at the window.
'The women were shown dragging the other woman through the house and adopted a series of poses, some sexual, alone and with the other women.
'The group of women appeared to attack the woman's body; she then she re-appeared wearing similar revealing lingerie to the group.'
The brunette springs from the floor, apparently converted to the models' clan, wearing an ivory set of similar lingerie and her hair tied up in the same style
Heads at the lingerie firm said the video was shot to promote its new limited edition Soiree 2011-2012 collection and was a 'unique take on the horror genre' which fitted in with the firm's signature 'sensibility and eroticism' vibe.
They said the gown worn by the victim was reminiscent of those worn in 1950s Hammer House of Horror movies and that the style suited the company because 'in the past horror was the only way of showing sex in a film'.
Agent Provocateur added that 'sex and horror had always been woven together but, they understood, had never been parodied in a film for a fashion label' and that the video had been viewed by 450,000 people.
The ASA cleared the ad, stating: 'We acknowledged some viewers might find some of the scenes distasteful but considered the highly stylised nature and clearly fictional content of the video meant it was unlikely to be interpreted by most viewers in the way the complainant suggested.
'We considered the ads did not demean women and were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to visitors to the Agent Provocateur website.'
'We also considered the ad was unlikely to cause fear or distress without justifiable reason. We therefore concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.'
It is not the first time the lingerie brand has attracted controversy with its advertising campaigns. In 2001 an Agent Provocateur advert featuring Kylie Minogue was banned by the BBC. Available to be viewed online, it went on to be one of the most viewed videos in history, with an estimated 360million people watching.
WATCH THE FILM
HERE (Warning: video contains adult themes):