An online advert by popular retailer Pretty Little Thing has been banned for being 'overly-sexualised' and 'objectifying women'.

The Manchester-based fashion house released an advert on their YouTube channel which showcased models in a series of revealing lingerie, including one model wearing chaps-style underwear.

Another model was shown in a mesh bodysuit, while another was shown in a bikini top with a neon bar between her legs in poses dubbed 'highly sexualised'.

After a viewer complained about the ad, the Advertising Standards Authority, which is UK's independent advertising regulator across all media - including online and in social media, banned the ad.

The ASA's investigations manager appeared on Victoria Derbyshire to speak about the ad which was ultimately banned for 'objectifying women'.

The ad aired in October and will not be shown again following the ban.

The ASA told Pretty Little Thing: "The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Prettylittlething.com Ltd not to use advertising that was likely to cause serious offence by objectifying women."

Its assessment of the ad describes the manner in which the models were dressed and how they were posing and said: "We considered that the cumulative effect of the scenes meant that overall, the products had been presented in an overly-sexualised way that invited viewers to view the women as sexual objects.

"We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and was irresponsible."

The latest online advert by the online retail giant, which is not part of the ASA ruling, ahead of Valentine's Day.

Pretty Little Thing defended the advert and said the ad "highlighted how they supported and promoted diversity through bold and distinctive fashion of all shapes and sizes which focused on different trends".

The online clothing brand also added that "they had not intended to create an ad which was deemed offensive and irresponsible".

Taking to Twitter, the decision has divided shoppers.

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@Champion_Puffa said: "It's not about being triggered, prude or even the beauty of the female form.

"This is about protecting children from porn, the sexualization of young vulnerable and impressionable girls, and degeneracy!

"Keep it in the bedroom & age restricted magazines!"

Megan Barton Hanson, 24, is a model from Essex who will set hearts racing when she enters Love Island
Megan Barton Hanson, 24, is a model from Essex who set hearts racing when she enters Love Island

Another Twitter user agreed with the ban and said: "It gives subtle messages to young women that they need to make themselves look good for men".

However not everyone agreed with the ban.

Speaking on Victoria Derbyshire today, Love Island star and Pretty Little Thing model Megan Barton Hanson defended the advert and said she thought it was "empowering"'.

On Twitter, @SarahA775 said: "I don’t see what’s offensive about this. How soon before all swimwear and lingerie advertising is banned? This is ludicrous."

@WinnieNgozi said: "Sexy clothes & sexiness is arguably Pretty Little Thing’s raison d'être. Look at the clothes themselves & the influencers they partner with, plus they live online - #LovePLT trends every Wednesday. Are people being too stuffy? Or is this a reasonable ruling?"