IN the 70s and 80s, we had semi-naked girls devouring Cadbury Flakes, the camera moving in for close-ups as they clamped their glossy red lips around the bars.

In the 1990s, supermodel Eva Herzigova said hello to all the boys in her Wonderbra, with a cleavage so big it looked as if it would burst out of the poster.

Now, as we approach 2006, we have yet another example of advertising creativity at its best, an advert which has angered women police officers so much they have asked for the Nightsafe poster to be taken down.

One of the posters shows a woman in a tight halter-necked top pouting at the camera saying: "Hi boys! I'd rather have a laugh with you than see you in stitches."

You can just imagine how the advertising meeting went beforehand:

Advertising manager: Right, we need to get across how men get violent when they drink. Anyone got any ideas?

Advertising junior one: How about we portray a guy who's been beaten up because he got so drunk he could barely walk?

Ad manager: Mmm. Not so sure about that one. Bit too literal. Anyone any other ideas?

Ad junior two: How about a semi-naked girl, rubbing her hands up and down herself suggesting she's going to take you and your mates to bed if you stay sober enough to get up the stairs?

Ad manager: I love it. Brilliant! Let's do it - and make sure she's blonde too, we don't want to make it look like she's got a brain.

Advertising and sex have been inextricably linked for decades. Advertisers know sex sells and their clients know it, which is why they get away with doing it.

The new advert for Nightsafe is just the latest in a long line that have used women as sexual objects to sell a message or products.

The only difference today, is that those adverts from the 70s, 80s and 90s are now seen as sexist for degrading and demeaning women.

The Nightsafe advert has been done in a so-called "lad's mag" style in a bid to reach its target audience - young lads - and warn them that drinking alcohol can lead to crime. But all it appears to be saying is if you lay off the booze you're guaranteed a good night with a sexy young thing in a tight top.

Using the scantily-clad woman is the epitome of advertising laziness.

Even some of the lingerie companies are getting bored with using sex in adverts. Wonderbra hit out at rival Mark's and Spencer's per una in October for using sexist advertising.

"It demeans women," said Herve Bailly, Wonderbra's marketing director. "I don't think this approach works anymore."

More recently, underwear maker Sloggi was forced to withdraw its adverts in France featuring three women in g-strings dancing the night away. The sad thing is that it was only after sales had tripled.

Whether the Nightsafe ad gets its message across remains to be seen.