This Ad For The Rolling Stones Was Deemed Too Sexy For the London Underground

Band reportedly 'dumbfounded' by the decision

Headshot of Katie Richards

You can't stop rock stars from doing what they want. Unless, of course, they've decided to place their iconic tongue logo atop a woman's private parts and run it on the London underground. Then, apparently, the rockin' can be stopped.  

Transport of London banned a neon ad, designed by Mark Norton for The Rolling Stones exhibition at London's Saatchi Gallery, from the underground and London buses, according to CNBC. The ad shows a close up of a woman's green and yellow striped bikini bottoms, with Mick Jagger's lips boldly covering the woman's crotch.

Clear Channel UK and Exterion Media—agencies that decide which ads will run on London transportation—said the poster was too suggestive for the eyes of London commuters.

"We felt the original artwork was a little bit too risqué," Matthew Walker, head of communications at Clear Channel UK, said in a statement. "We're well aware our advertising sites are hard to miss, so we need to make sure the advertising we carry is appropriate."

When the poster rolls out Monday, the good people of London will see a slightly modified version of the ad, according to Walker's statement. You'll still see the half-naked woman, but the lips will be moved up every so slightly to cover her navel. The rest of the world, however, will see the poster as it was meant to be seen. 

While you'll still find the original ad plastered across The Rolling Stones' website and social media channels, a spokesperson for The Stones expressed what a blow the decision was to the band in a statement to CNBC: "We are dumbfounded and perplexed at this rather silly decision. Perhaps something to do with the fact that it's the Rolling Stones and controversy still seems to follow them everywhere."

@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.