XFM London reports the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the country’s independent regulator of advertising across all media, has deemed the poster art – the “Balls Out” cover - unsuitable for public display.
The ad attracted a number of complaints to the ASA, including one from Imkaan, a charity for women from ethnic backgrounds who have been victims of abuse and violence.
The charity said the ad was offensive because it was demeaning to women and overtly sexual in nature. It argued the ad was unsuitable for public display, where it might be seen by children.
The band's label - Universal Island Records - countered that it was meant to be so over the top that no one would take it seriously and so it didn't actually undermine women, adding that it was mostly put up in places like clubs and bars where adults went for nights out and they weren't aware of them being close to any schools.
The label hadn't actually checked, though, and admitted more care should have been taken in choosing where to put the posters.
ASA upheld the complaint though, noting that "the poster was not meant to cause offence or be seen as demeaning to women," but continuing, "we considered that the main image on the poster was overtly sexual. We noted that the pose of the woman showed her with her legs apart, her hand between her legs and her breasts partially exposed and considered that her facial expression was suggestive of an orgasm and sexual activity. In addition to this, we considered that the album title "Balls Out" was sexually suggestive particularly when viewed in the context of the poster, where the woman was seen dangling two silver balls between her legs in a way that we considered was suggestive of male genitalia."
ASA concluded that it "was likely to cause serious and widespread offence, was unsuitable to be seen by children and therefore was not appropriate for outdoor advertising."
The ad/album cover can't be put up in its current form again. Steel Panther recently toured the UK with Def Leppard and Motley Crue, and return to headline their own shows in March.