A television ad for the mobile app Nude Scanner 3D that showed images of a naked woman has been banned after viewers complained that it was demeaning and shown when it could be seen by children.
The ad, broadcast during six episodes of Channel 4's Hollyoaks, showed a mobile phone "scanning" a woman followed by images of her naked with her breasts and crotch blurred out.
The voice-over said: "The 3D nude scanner is available for your mobile. Prank your friends to think you can see what any of them look like without clothes on," while on-screen text stated: "For entertainment purposes only... 16+, bill payer's permission."
The ad was approved by compliance and clearance agency Clearcast with an ex-children restriction.
However 26 viewers complained about the ad, with 21 concerned that it was shown at times when it could be seen by children, including young teenagers.
Seven viewers complained that it could cause serious or widespread offence because it was demeaning to women and seven said it could encourage anti-social behaviour.
The app's developer, Jesta Digital GmbH, trading as Jamster, said it stopped broadcasting the ad after receiving complaints.
But it said the ad was cleared with a restriction preventing it from being broadcast within children's programmes, and considered the programmes during which the ad was viewed had not targeted children.
Clearcast said the images were no more risque than underwear ads or music videos, adding that there was nothing in the ad which condoned or promoted an unwanted scan.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) acknowledged that the models featured on the app would not be shown fully naked and that the ad contained references to "pranking" and "entertainment purposes only".
However, it said: "Because the ad focused on the product's apparent ability to enable the user to view naked images of women using the camera on their phone, and had a prolonged focus on the female model, we considered it was unsuitable for a child audience and was likely to be viewed as demeaning to women and, therefore, offensive."
It added that Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (Barb) figures showed that the proportion of children who had watched Hollyoaks during the times when the ad was viewed by the complainants was, on two occasions, above the threshold at which a programme was said to have particular appeal to audiences who were under 16 years of age.
Furthermore, on those broadcasts and on one other broadcast the number of children between the ages of 10 and 15 who had viewed Hollyoaks was also above that threshold.
The ASA said: "We considered that, whilst younger children may not understand the references to a 'nude scanner', that was unlikely to be the case for older children and we considered them to be the group most likely to have been interested in downloading the app.
"Because the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, we concluded it should not have been broadcast at any time, including during programmes of particular appeal to children."
The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, saying: "We told Jesta Digital GmbH to ensure their future advertising was not demeaning to women and contained nothing that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence."