Go Vilnius’s ad featured an image of a woman lying on material printed with a map of Europe, her hair splayed out behind her head.
Her eyes were closed and she had one arm raised above her head, gripping the material in her hand at the point on the map where the Lithuanian capital is located.
The accompanying text read: “Nobody knows where it is, but when they find it - it’s amazing. Vilnius - the g-spot of Europe.”
A complaint to the ASA though described the ad as “overtly sexual” and said the image of the woman was “unrelated to the product”.
In its submission to the ASA, Go Vilnius said the ad was playful and designed ostensibly to be attention-grabbing to raise awareness of the city and put it on people’s radar as a tourist destination.
The tourist board said the woman was relevant as she was “clearly identifying the location of Vilnius”, adding it did not consider the ad - which was “targeted at a millennial audience” - to be “overtly sexual”.
Go Vilnius also stressed it had only received one complaint about the ad, and therefore “did not consider widespread offence had been caused”.
Following an investigation, the ASA said it did not find the add to be in breach of its guidelines, despite its “sexually suggestive” tone.
Its ruling read: “The ASA considered the ad risqué and sexually suggestive in tone, due to the reference to ‘Vilnius - the g-spot of Europe’, and the image of the woman gripping the map with her eyes closed.
“However, we considered the ad portrayed that suggestiveness in a light-hearted and humorous way, for example through the statement: ‘Nobody knows where it is, but when they find it - it’s amazing’, and because the woman appeared in a surreal and unrealistic scenario, indicating the location of Vilnius on the map of Europe.
“We considered the ad did not contain anything which pointed to an exploitative or degrading scenario or tone.
“While we acknowledged that some might find the ad distasteful, we considered, for the above reasons, the ad did not objectify the female character and we concluded it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.”