Your commercial news round-up: Adidas, Three, FIFA or ‘EA Sports FC’, Toyota Motor, Russian oil

updated on 12 May 2022

Reading time: four minutes

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  • The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has been busy this week. Adidas had its sports bra adverts banned for showing explicit nudity following complaints that the advert objectified women and reduced “them to body parts”. The advert featured images of the breasts of dozens of women in a grid format via a tweet and two posters. The sportswear giant responded to the complaints, explaining that the aim of the images was to “reflect and celebrate different shapes and sizes, illustrate diversity and demonstrate why tailored support bras were important.” The ASA did not agree with the complaints that stated the images were sexually explicit or objectifying women, but instead found that they could be seen as explicit nudity and were not appropriate for use via untargeted media, according to the BBC.

Tesco Mobile also had an advertising campaign banned for its use of food items to replace swear words, following 52 complaints to the ASA. The ads appeared in newspapers, on Twitter and outdoor posters featuring lines like “They’re taking the pistachio” in what Tesco said was an effort to show customer frustration. Although the adverts did not actually use any offensive words or imagery, the ASA explained that the words they were referring to were "so likely to offend that they should not generally be used or alluded to in advertising, regardless of whether they were used in a tongue-in-cheek manner".

  • British telecoms company Three UK has revealed its plans to switch off its 3G network at the end of 2024, due to recent investments in 4G and 5G. Three has predicted that 5G will make up 35% of data usage by the end of this year. David Hennessy, the company’s chief technology officer, said the “future is undoubtedly 5G” before adding: “As we continue to roll out our ultrafast connectivity, by not only upgrading our existing 4G sites but building new 5G sites, we’ll be in a position to switch off our use of 3G across our network by the end of 2024.”
  • FIFA is set to be renamed ‘EA Sports FC’, with the final game in the FIFA franchise due to be released later this year. The change in name has come about after Electronic Arts, the game’s publisher, could not settle on a new licensing agreement with the FIFA Council, the governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer. FIFA was looking to double its fees to allow EA to continue using its name, according to the New York Times, and there were also conversations around EA’s exclusivity rights.
  • Toyota Motor could see its full-year profit cut by 20% due to “unprecedented” rises in material and logistics costs. The Japanese manufacturer, which has been dealing with supply chain issues for the past year, has predicted material costs to more than double to about $11.1 billion in its fiscal year, starting from April 2022. The company’s operating profit for the current fiscal year is expected to fall to $19.7 billion compared to its $22.9 billion profit for the same period last year. Meanwhile, work in eight of its factories in China has been suspended due to covid-19 lockdowns in the country.
  • Following news last week that the EU had suggested a ban on all imports from Russia, pushback from member states has forced the union to abandon these plans. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen is aware of the difficulty in getting EU member states on board because some are “strongly dependent on Russian oil”. Hungary would not agree to the proposals after discussions with von der Leyen earlier this week. Malta and Greece also opposed the plans. As a result, the policy has now been removed from the EU’s sixth package of sanctions.

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