A print advert for Triuk has been banned by the ASA following a complaint from a reader of Cycling Plus magazine.
The advert states "It all starts with great bodywork" and features an image of a bicycle frame and a naked woman. The woman has one arm up over behind her head, while the other covers one of her breasts.
The complainant said the image was sexist and degrading to women.
Defending the advert, Triuk said the ad was not degrading or sexist in any way. They said the ad was a piece of artwork with a friendly tongue-in-cheek caption and had intended to be eye-catching and show the aesthetic features of the Cervelo bicycle frame.
The company added that because the use of the female form in the cycling industry was commonplace, Triuk believed that the ad was acceptable.
As this story attests, images of naked women have been used to sell cycling since the 1890s.
Cycling Plus said the magazine was read predominantly by men in their 30s to 50s and did not believe that the ad was offensive.
The ASA agreed the image used on the advert was not sexually explicit, but "it had sexual connotations."
The ads watchdog said the advert "bore no relevance to the advertised product and that the text likened the aesthetic qualities of the woman to those of the product."
The ASA concluded that "the image was likely to cause serious offence to some readers of Cycling Plus" and therefore breached the ASA’s Code.