A BILLBOARD advert on a busy roundabout which was criticised for ‘perpetuating the culture of rape' has been replaced by the charity condemning it.

Last month, Manningtree-based flooring company Garage Floors Direct and Billboard Media put up the advert picturing a 'sexualised woman in a tiny dress and high heels' next to the words 'It's so easy to lay'.

Charity Suffolk Rape Crisis then penned an open letter criticising the advert.

The charity questioned whether the advert implied the woman was easy to lay, or whether the “floor was so easy to lay, even a woman could do it.”

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Criticised - the previous billboard advert pictured before it was removedCriticised - the previous billboard advert pictured before it was removed (Image: SWNS)

It added how the advert played into “archaic stereotypes that perpetuate the culture of rape”.

“Adverts like yours' affect how women feel about themselves, how women are treated by the police and the justice system and by wider society”, the letter said.

“Your advert supports the idea that women's bodies are commodities to be used.”

The billboard advertisement in Ipswich was removed and has now been replaced by the charity's own version.

Inspired by criticism received from its open letter, the billboard now carries a powerful message from Suffolk Rape Crisis.

It reads: “It was sexist”, with the words “just a joke” crossed out.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Powerful - the new billboard created by Suffolk Rape CrisisPowerful - the new billboard created by Suffolk Rape Crisis (Image: Suffolk Rape Crisis)

The Manningtree business, which donated the space to the charity after the backlash, said it “wanted to do something positive for the area”.

"We thought it would be a nice gesture to offer Suffolk Rape Crisis an opportunity to promote their work in the community whilst raising awareness for their cause”, a spokesman added.

Suffolk Rape Crisis said it was “impressed with the prompt removal of the billboard and the supportive response from Garage Floors Direct”.

“After engaging in extensive conversations, we understand it was an honest error, and we appreciate their donation that enables us to raise awareness for our cause.”

The charity also used the opportunity to highlight the alarming statistic concerning sexual violence in Suffolk, notably how "one in four women are sexually assaulted".

"We implore those who have been affected by this story to join us”, a spokesman added.

"We need more funding to manage the demand for services. We want to provide support to women in a much quicker timeframe."