ON the day that women celebrated 100 years since winning the vote, Tunnock's managed to provide the perfect proof that as a society we still have a long way to go.

An ad featuring a female tennis player holding one of their famous tea cakes in place of a tennis ball at the top of her thigh has been banned over the likelihood of it causing serious offence.

The National:

The poster ad, seen on November 6, showed the player with her skirt raised at the hip and included the text: "Where do you keep yours?" and "Serve up a treat".

One person complained that the ad was offensive and irresponsible because it was sexist and objectified women.

Thomas Tunnock Ltd, trading as Tunnock's Tea Cakes, said the ad appeared on a poster site adjacent to the SEC Hydro Arena in Glasgow to coincide with a charity tennis match, and was created with a tennis audience in mind.

They said the placement of the tea cake was a substitute to the normal placement of tennis balls, adding that they did not intend to offend anyone.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) noted that the ad showed the woman's bare thigh exposed and her underwear clearly visible, and while it was placed opposite an arena hosting a tennis match, it bore no relevance to the advertised product.

It said: "We considered that although the image was only mildly sexual in nature, when combined with the phrase 'serve up a treat' it had the effect of objectifying women by using a woman's physical features to draw attention to the ad.

"In light of those factors, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some consumers and was socially irresponsible."

Tunnock's caused controversy in recent years by rebranding most famous treat, the tea cake, as British for foreign markets. Each biscuit exported to Japan is now emblazoned with a Union Jack on the packaging, and “Made in Great Britain” printed on the side. A gift bag of chocolate wafer creams, designed for the Asian market, features red, white and blue stripes and makes no mention of Scotland.