A British retailer has been sharply criticized by the U.K.'s advertising body for a holiday ad campaign that showed a toy elf in a series of sexually suggestive positions with provocative captions.
On Wednesday, the series of nine ads by discounter Poundland were banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) from appearing again in their current form, after 85 people complained on the grounds that they were offensive or might be seen by children.
Poundland posted the campaign on its Twitter and Facebook pages from December 11 to 21 last year. One of the ads showed the elf holding a tea bag between its legs with a female doll lying underneath it. A box of Twinings tea also appeared in the picture, but was later removed when Twinings said that the image misused its product. The elf depicted looked like a character from the children's picture book "The Elf on the Shelf."