A television advert for comparison site Confused.com has been cleared after 137 complaints that it contained offensive sexual references to "dogging" and oral sex.
The ad showed a robot called Brian knocking on the window of a parked car, startling a man in the driving seat before a woman in the passenger seat, who was bent down out of view, sprang upright. The ad was cleared with a post 9pm restriction.
Confused.com said the woman was "tying her shoelace", however viewers have complained online that it contains references to oral sex and "dogging".
Others said it was offensive for children to see and a "small number" believed it was degrading to women.
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Inspop.com, trading as Confused.com, said the ad featured a fully-clothed couple in their car outside of their house about to set off on a journey.
They said the couple was shown to be stunned by the appearance of the robot, the woman sat up from the footwell on her side of the vehicle, and neither the man nor the woman showed any indication of inappropriate or sexual activity.
The controversial Confused ad in question
A spokeswoman added: “The woman is startled as she had been tying her shoelace and didn’t see Brian approach the car. The advert itself was approved by Clearcast and we have been inundated with positive comments.”
However, others have complained, with one viewer writing on Twitter: “Why have Confused.com made an advert where two people are clearly dogging?”
The Advertising Standards Authority acknowledged concerns that the presentation of the ad included an implied reference to oral sex, but said it contained no explicit reference to sex and no explicit sexual imagery.
Clearing the ad, it said: "Whilst we acknowledged that some viewers might find the ad distasteful, we considered it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence."
Confused.com previously conducted a survey that found almost half of male drivers in the UK admit that they have had sex in their car, while almost 30% of women admit this too.
Gareth Kloet, head of car insurance at Confused.com, quipped: “The results of this Confused.com survey bring a new meaning to the UK being a nation of car lovers!"
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