Advertising for the energy drink Shark have been banned in the UK after concerns that they condone sexual violence.

The UK's advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, received 12 complaints about a poster campaign for the drink which featured naked male and female models scarred by scratch and bite marks.

The posters carry the strap lines "Shark victim" and "bring out the beast".

Shark AG, the makers of the drink, said they used the idea of the Shark attack, because it mixed the drink's name with the common slang term for hunting out a sexual partner "sharking".

Shark AG said it had taken advice from the official body that operates to advise advertisers on potential pitfalls regarding industry rules before it ran the poster campaign.

However the ASA today ruled that it "nevertheless considered the posters were sexually explicit" and that they "could be seen to condone sexual violence".