Poundland’s risqué Christmas ad campaign must not appear on social media sites in its current form, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.

The ASA deemed the “naughty elf” campaign, which depicted a toy elf carrying out sexual acts, “irresponsible”, the BBC reported.

The ruling follows an investigation launched by ASA last month, after the regulator received over 80 complaints about the ads.

Some claimed the ads were inappropriate due to the fact they were displayed on social media where children could see them.

The Steinhoff-owned value retailer was also blasted by Twinings tea for using its brand in one of the images without its permission.

Poundland thundered the success of the campaign, which it said only cost £25.53 to create.

The ASA said: “They stated a large number of people found the campaign to be humorous, engaging, and in line with what it meant to be British.” 

The regulator, however, sided with concerned consumers and stated that some of the images could be seen as demeaning to women.