London, Jul 8 (ANI): A mail order company has issued an apology to a shopper who ordered a pair of slippers, and was sent an explicit catalogue for sex aids and erotic clothing along.
The apology came after the Advertising Standards Agency agreed with the customer's complaint, and said that the catalogue should not have been sent out.
The catalogue, entitled 'Don't Be Timid', offered products like a 'Bondage Restraint Set' and 'Rubber Pouch Pants', it was enclosed with the female customer's rather more innocuous order.
The front cover, which showed two women in lingerie, advised: "Don't be too timid to step into the unknown, for where there may be risk, there's definitely reward."
The catalogue had been posted out as part of a deal between MRP Direct, the company selling the sex aids, and Home Selections (HSS), which sold the slippers.
The recipient disagreed, and complained to the ASA that the catalogue was offensive, irresponsible and unsuitable for unsolicited circulation.
MRP Direct apologised, and said that they had booked their catalogue into HSS dispatches programme in good faith.
HSS said that all their customers were given the opportunity to opt out of receiving third party material, and assumed that the complainant had not elected to opt out.
In its ruling the ASA said that the material from the opening page onwards was sexually explicit.
"We considered, therefore, that its marketing required very careful targeting to ensure that it was distributed responsibly and to avoid causing offence to unsuspecting recipients," Sky News quoted the ASA as saying.
"Although we acknowledged that the catalogue incorporated an '18' logo on the front cover, we considered that this was not sufficient to alert recipients to the contents, which we considered were likely to offend if targeted inappropriately," it said.
It advised both companies to take care in future to target their marketing to avoid causing offence. (ANI)