Before Easter 2017, Palmers, a leading clothing manufacturer in Austria, started an advertising campaign for its lingerie collection. The promotional materials show female models wearing different panties (see image below).
The campaign was conducted under the title “Osterhöschen” which is a fantasy word created with a word play from “Osterhäschen” (Easter bunny) to “Osterhöschen” (Easter panties). Eight complaints against this campaign were filed with the Austrian Advertising Council. The Austrian Advertising Council in its ruling confirmed these complaints and requested Palmers to immediately stop the campaign. In its grounds the Austrian Advertising Council pointed out that the models were presented in a derogatory way. Though there is an objective connection between advertisements for lingerie and models wearing such lingerie, the campaign offends the ethical principles of the Austrian Advertising Business.
The Austrian Advertising Business examines advertisements, not on the basis of legal provisions, but on the basis of ethical standards. Decisions by the Austrian Advertising Council have no binding effect and cannot be enforced. They only have the character of pure recommendations.