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19th December   

Edinburgh Restrict Fare Trade...

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A beer advert has become the first to fall foul of rules banning any link between alcohol and sexual success.
The Young's Bitter billboard poster of a man with a ram's head surrounded by scantily clad women, had the strap line "This is a Ram's World".

The Advertising Standards Authority said it and a second Young's poster breached rules introduced on October 1 last year and they should be withdrawn.

Young's denied the images suggested its beer led to sexual or social success.

Industry watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the strap line on the poster featuring the women implied Young's drinkers were personified by the ram, who was the focal point of female attention.

We were concerned viewers would be misled into thinking the advertiser offered a treatment that was more effective than it actually was

Advertising Standards Authority

Gooch hair adverts criticised

Another "Ram's World" poster showed the same figure dressed in a suit and surrounded by well dressed men at a gentleman's club.

The ASA told Young and Co's Brewery to ensure it did not link its product with success at a social occasion or seduction in future adverts.


The tighter rules affecting broadcast and non-broadcast adverts came into force in response to public concerns about under-age and irresponsible drinking.

ASA spokesman Matt Wilson described the Young's ruling as a "benchmark" for others in the industry to work from.

Young & Co's Brewery said the ram in the adverts related to one which had appeared on the brewery's logo for more than 150 years.

It said the idea of a ram being in the social situations shown in the posters was so preposterous that people would understand it was not real.

Spokesman Michael Hardman said: "These advertisements were introduced as part of a light-hearted campaign in 2004, well before the rules on the advertising of alcohol were tightened.

"They were repeated last year but we had already taken the decision not to run them again when our case went before the ASA."


7th November   

Naked Nutterdom...

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Another advertisement deemed too provocative for the streets of Scotland's largest city has been banned by council leaders.

The advert for a city beauty salon shows a naked woman having a hot stone massage. She is shown lying face down with hot stones on her back.

Brenda Kingswood, owner of the Savannah Beauty Centre in Jordanhill who is behind the advert, branded Glasgow City Council's licensing authority's decision as "draconian". She added: I'm disgusted. It's disappointing there is even a question mark over this advert. You can't have a massage without taking your clothes off. How am I expected to illustrate this treatment? She is now considering legal action.

It comes a month after an attempt to promote products by a lingerie company on the side of black cabs fell foul of the council. The campaign, by Triumph International, which was to have featured models posing in underwear along the sides of taxis was rejected because "the artwork was contrary to policy". The decision drew widespread criticism from taxi advertising companies which described Glasgow's policy on the matter as "overly strict".

The Triumph campaign already adorns cabs in London, Liverpool and Bristol, but Glasgow was first to reject it.
After the Triumph advertisement was pulled the council said its rules and regulations on taxi advertising were under review.

Following the latest ban, a spokesman said: Our policy is clear. The woman does not appear to be wearing any clothing. That is why it was rejected.

The council's licensing policy on taxi advertising states:
Advertisements will not be permitted which advertise or promote the sale of alcohol or tobacco products; nor if they contain political, ethnic, religious, sectarian, sexual or controversial text; display nude or semi-nude figures; or are likely to offend public taste; depict men, women or children as sexual objects.


21st May   

No Sex in Halifax...

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It comes as a surprise to find Howard Brown, star of the Halifax TV adverts, grinning out from an explicit porn website. His face was on a Halifax banner ad for personal loans appearing on the home page of a site called Kara's Adult Playground.

Of course, men and women who visit adult sites need to borrow money as much as the next person (to pay for those online subscriptions if nothing else), yet mainstream brands usually shun anything to do with the sex media industry.

Which begs the question: what exactly was Howard doing in March this year appearing on a porn website. A quick call to the Halifax revealed that the bank had no knowledge that its corporate brand was appearing on a porn website. The contract we have with all our agencies state our ads should not appear on any sites with salacious or illegal content, " said a panicking Halifax spokesman. This ad was clearly in breach of that and we're not very happy about it. It shouldn't have happened as sex sites are on our taboo list.

The bank immediately ordered the ad to be removed. Then it slapped wrists and shouted a lot at its media agency Diffiniti, part of Aegis Media, and Migration Marketing, which placed the offending ad across its blind network of what are supposed to be relevant websites. Migration has apologised profusely for what it said was human error.

The fact the Halifax was so red faced about this mistake illustrates perfectly how most advertisers still view adult media and why anyone trying to sell it feels they are constantly running uphill.


7th April   

Sex Sells On UK Satellite...

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For most UK adult TV channels, subscriptions account for more than 90% of total revenue, but media owners want to change the mindset of advertisers. Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell may have sold its magazines but it is still very much in the sex TV market with Television X The Fantasy Channel, Red Hot and Gay TV.

The company's managing director of TV operations, Paul Dunthorne, claims Television X has 350,000 subscribers for its three channels, but admits his team has not really bothered chasing high-profile advertising in the past. The rewards have not been great enough to make it worthwhile spending time trying to persuade agencies and clients which have made up their mind about this sector. But consumer attitudes to adult channels are changing, somaybe advertisers will respond

The Financial Times estimates that adult broadcasting in the UK is worth more than 200m, with satellite broadcasters now hosting more than 20 adult channels. Amanda Kiss, founder of the misleadingly named Xplicit XXX, says advertisers can appear on the channel for as little as 25 per 10-second spot. Like most adult broadcasters, she is reluctant to talk numbers when asked for viewing and subscription figures, but she says Xplicit's audience is split 70% men and 30% women and couples aged between 25 and 40.

Playboy TV claims it has around 100,000 people subscribing to its package of channels, including Spice and The Adult Channel. Playboy TV itself has managed to attract advertisers such as Bacardi because of the global strength of the Playboy brand. Cost per 10-second spot is around 100 while, for The Adult Channel, it is 60 between 11pm and 1.30am, falling to 27 at 3am.

Gerry Zierler, managing director of media sales house Zierler Media, which sells time on Playboy TV's channels, says the media owner is investing in a marketing campaign to promote its product to the UK advertising industry. We're trying to make this whole market respectable. These channels are licensed by Ofcom and this is a well-policed area.

Adult media owners are hoping the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, due to be published around May, will allow more hardcore (R18) sex action to be shown to boost subscriber numbers. The result of this, however, could be that mainstream advertisers distance themselves further.


6th April   

Sex Sells Online Advertising...

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The X-rated adult website market is a secretive one as most media owners wish to remain anonymous and run their organisations from tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands.

Adult media owners have embraced the technology after realising there was a huge market in selling adult entertainment to people too embarrassed to buy magazines in the shops but who are happy to access this content in the privacy of their own home.

Porn powers the internet and accounts for around 10% of the $18bn consumer e-commerce market, according to researcher Forrester.

Studies by NetValue claim that within the EU, the Spanish visit adult sites more than anyone else and the French the least, while the Germans spend the most time surfing porn, at around 70 minutes a month. This compares with 37 minutes for the Brits who spend the least amount of time visiting sex sites.

Advertising is the second major revenue model for site operators after subscriptions. The advertising, mostly premium rate phone and chat lines or condom brands, are charged a flat fee for display of their content, such as a banner ad. Clients can also either pay a cost per click usually about 25p or a cost per registration around 15 a time, according to internet marketing company Imano.

Adult sites also make their money selling pay-per-view videos and offering links to sites with similar content. There is also what is known as sub-domain leasing where advertisers lease a domain by keywords or search phrases from the host site. For instance, search engine site will sell the branding

Online adult publishers are watching the take-up of 3G mobile phones that provide internet-like content and downloadable porn, which will provide a lucrative new revenue stream for direct response advertisers and others who dare to get involved.


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