A poster advert for Asia Pacific Breweries' Tiger beer brand in the UK has been banned by the country's advertising watchdog following complaints of it being "disrespectful to Eastern culture".

The ad, which appeared on a poster campaign and in the Metro and London Lite newspapers in the country, features an image of a bottle of Tiger Beer in the top left-hand corner labelled as "The Far East's most desirable export since 1932". In the foreground is an image of what appeared to be a transexual, wearing black stockings, knickers and a bra with a star saying "3rd".

Eight complainants objected that the image of the person, who they believed to be a woman, was offensive because it linked 'exports' with a person in a "sexually provocative pose", which they felt was "inappropriate" given reports of human trafficking for the sex trade.

Tiger Beer UK defended the ad saying the campaign was intended to reflect Tiger Beer's Far Eastern heritage by presenting it in the context of other recognised Far Eastern exports including ladyboys, tuk tuks, chop sticks and acupuncture.

The brewer said the ladyboy image was representative of a cabaret performer rather than a prostitute or model.

The ASA also upheld complaints that the ad suggested beer and sex were two of the best exports of the Far East, which was disrespectful to Eastern culture and was likely to cause "serious or widespread offence".

The standards body ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form and welcomed Tiger Beer UK's decision to remove the image from the campaign.