Sky Sport has apologised after repeating screenings on a closeup shot of a female tennis player's underwear was used to promote the ASB Classic, which offended fans and left the tournament sponsor "disappointed".
Sky issued a statement after a fan first noticed the repeating screenings of an unseen player hitting a shot during breaks in ASB Classic matches last week and shared their disgust on an ASB Bank social media post, Stuff reports.
The clip featured an unseen female player hitting a backhand from a low angle where their underwear is seen as their dress slowly raised. The clip also featured unseen male players hitting shots, one also from the waist down.
"What a pity you let Sky Sport use this photo repeatedly for advertising women's Tennis . . . must have broadcast it 100 times a day . . . this is the best tennis photo they could use? . . . And you let them do it?" the fan said in her post, according to Stuff.
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"I'm not a prude and neither are all my friends on [Facebook] who agree with me that it is pretty bad when a bank uses a women's crotch to advertise a sport. For those who don't have Sky here is the repeated tennis shot . . . Shame on you both."
The bank's social media account then responded to the post adding they were "disappointed".
"We raised this with them last week but you may also wish to contact them or the Advertising Standards Authority directly with your concerns. As it is now the men's week of the ASB Classic, you won't be seeing this particular image again," the reply reportedly stated.
The women's event ended last Sunday with Serena Williams capturing her first title in Auckland. The men's event concludes on Sunday.
Sky issued a statement on Wednesday, Stuff reports.
"We're sorry to hear that the break image offended some people. We have taken the feedback on board," a spokesperson said.