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  Another California based wish.com advert winds up the advert censor...

Impotent ASA must surely realise that the remit extender it bought from the UK government offers nothing but false hopes


Link Here 18th April 2018

Penis extender strap at wish.comAn ad for a penis extender by wish.com, seen on 26 November 2017, appeared within the apps Peel Smart Remote, 2048 and Crazy Cake Swap. The ad featured an animated image of a penis above a second animated image of an extender strap being applied to the penis.

Three complainants challenged whether the ads had been responsibly targeted because they were likely to be seen by children.

ContextLogic Inc t/a wish.com did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

Ketchapp, the publisher of 2048 said that whilst the game had an age rating of four years plus on one app store, the game was not aimed at children. They said that the game was a block puzzle game which required mental calculation and therefore was not directed at children.

Ketchapp said they had no control over the ad and had little influence over ads that were served to individual players. They said that they could not comment on the content of the ad because they did not develop it. They argued that responsibility was with advertisers and ad servers to ensure that their ads were suitable for the apps they appeared in.

Ketachapp said that they had taken a number of actions in response to the complaint to prevent similar ads appearing in their apps. For example, they had increased the age rating for all Ketchapp games to 12 years plus and adapted processes to ensure that the content of the ads were better aligned with the age rating of the app.

Peel, the publisher of Peel Smart Remote acknowledged the complaint but did not provide a substantive response to our enquiries. Zynga, the publisher of Crazy Cake Swap did not respond to our enquiries.

ASA Assessment Complains upheld

The ASA was concerned by wish.com's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in the future.

We understood that Peel Smart Remote was an app which allowed users to control their home electronics. The game 2048 allowed users to play puzzle games and Crazy Cake Swap was also a puzzle game which involved animated cakes. We considered that given the content of the apps, they were likely to have a broad appeal to all ages including children and therefore any ads that appeared within the apps, should have been suitable for children.

The ad featured an animated image of a penis with an extender strap being applied which we considered to be inappropriate for children to view. Because the ad had been placed in apps that children could be using, we concluded that the ad had been placed irresponsibly in breach of the Code.

The ad must not appear again in an untargeted medium. We told wish.com to ensure that ads that were inappropriate for children to see were appropriately targeted. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.

 

  ASA wishes for a more PC world...

Advert censor gets arsey about sexy cat suit advert next to a baby product advert


Link Here 11th April 2018

wish catsuitAn in-app ad and two paid-for ads on Facebook for the e-commerce platform Wish, seen on various dates in November 2017 and February 2018:

  • a. The in-app ad featured two products. One was a black cat suit that was shown being worn by a woman who, in one image, was pulling down a zip that exposed the top of her bottom. In the second image, the woman was on all fours with the zip open, exposing more of her bottom. The second product was a toddler's carrying seat, worn around the parent's waist with a belt. The product was shown with a baby perched on the seat and being worn by a woman. The baby wore a pair of shorts with a split exposing the baby's bottom.

  • b. The first Facebook ad contained the same image of the baby in ad (a) to advertise the same product. Next to it was imagery promoting another product, an elastic support which was purported to make the penis appear larger and to be worn underneath underwear. The ad contained before and after photos that apparently showed the results of using the product by featuring a picture of a man wearing white underwear and drawings that indicated how the product worked.

  • c. The second Facebook ad again featured the toddler carrying seat with the same image of the baby, but it was not presented alongside products of a sexual nature.

1. One complainant challenged whether ad (a) was offensive and irresponsible because it presented sexualised imagery alongside an image of a baby with its bottom exposed.

2. Another complainant challenged whether ad (b) was offensive and irresponsible for the same reason.

3. A third complainant challenged whether ad (c) was offensive and irresponsible because it contained the same image of the baby as ads (a) and (b).

Shpock, who were responsible for the placement of the in-app ad, said ad (a) violated their policy. They confirmed that they had blocked Wish from advertising through their platform again.

Facebook said ads (b) and (c) were no longer available on their site as they violated their advertising policies.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

wish
  There's some weird stuff on wish.com, ASA would have a mass heart attack if they were to take look around

The ASA was concerned by Wish's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, and ruled that they had breached CAP Code. Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code. (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future. [wish.com is a US company, headquartered in San Francisco, I don't think they would be much bothered by ASA's PC censorship nonsense].

1, 2. & 3. Upheld

The image of the baby's bottom being exposed through ripped shorts -- common in all three ads -- appeared to draw attention to it for no reason that was relevant to the product and in a way that we considered was likely to be seen as irresponsible and offensive by many readers. We also understood that the ad was untargeted.

In relation to ad (a), we considered that to show the shot of the baby's bottom alongside the images of the woman pulling down the zip of the catsuit to expose the top of her bottom and of her on all fours while exposing her bottom through the slit was likely to be seen as particularly irresponsible and offensive.

In relation to ad (b), we considered that to show the shot of the baby's bottom adjacent to the imagery promoting the product which was claimed to have the effect of making the penis appear larger, along with the before and after photos and the drawings that indicated how the product worked, was likely to be seen as particularly irresponsible and offensive.

The ads must not appear again in the forms complained of. We told Wish not to feature children in ways that were likely to be seen as irresponsible or offensive.

 

  Stupid selfie kids get their deserved comeuppance...

ASA bans gory 'Chainsaw Massacre' advert for OnePlus mobile phones


Link Here 4th April 2018
oneplus lake blood video A video ad for mobile phone retailer, OnePlus, appeared in various online media throughout August and September 2017. The ad started with a shot of a cabin by a lake in the woods and red on-screen text that stated LAKE BLOOD. A teenage girl was seen reading on the porch of the cabin and looked up to find a masked man holding a chainsaw standing amongst the trees. The girl smiled and raised her smartphone to record the masked man, and whispered Awesome!, as he slowly came towards her with the chainsaw turning. A teenage boy with blood stains on his clothes and blood pouring down his hands and legs then emerged from the bushes and ran towards the cabin, overtaking the masked man. The boy shouted Go! What are you doing? Are you insane? What's wrong with you? The boy then knocked the smartphone out of the girl's hands and said to the girl You should be using one of these. as he handed her the OnePlus5. The boy then proceeded to record the masked man with the smartphone, and encouraged the girl to get in the shot. As the girl posed in front of the masked man, the chainsaw stopped working and the masked man was seen to attempt to start it again. As the masked man managed to start the chainsaw and raised it above his head, the boy then took a photo on the phone and said There we go. Awesome. The ad then cut to a scene with an image of the smartphone with a photo of the girl posing with the masked man, and text on-screen stated OnePlus 5 Dual Camera. Clearer Photos. The final scene showed the masked man, who was covered in blood, sitting on the porch and taking a selfie with the smartphone, with a chainsaw, a pair of legs and an arm, all covered in blood, next to him.I

The ASA received 28 complaints:

  1. Twenty-one complainants, who believed that the content of the ad was excessively gory, challenged whether the ad was unduly distressing; and
  2. Eight complainants, who believed that the content of the ad was too distressing for children, challenged whether it was inappropriately placed where children might see it.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

1. & 2. Upheld

The ASA understood that the ad was intended to be a parody of horror films. We noted that the narrative of reckless or ignorant American high school teenagers and violent masked murderers, characters that were both featured in the ad, were well known tropes used in the slasher film genre.

We noted that in the majority of the ad, the scenes showing blood and gore, namely when the teenage boy appeared with dripping blood and a laceration on his leg, were brief and not excessive. We noted that suspenseful and unsettling music played in the background as the teenage girl encountered the masked man; it was only the scene in which the teenage boy handed the OnePlus 5 phone to the teenage girl that cheerful ukulele music began to play. We noted OnePlus' comments that, in addition to the change in music, the jovial conversation between the boy and the girl alleviated any tension that had been created in prior scenes prior. Notwithstanding that, we noted that the masked man's menacing laughter and grunts, as well as the noises from the chainsaw, could still be heard in the background as the ad progressed and as the masked man edged closer to the teenage characters. We therefore considered that the suspense had not been fully assuaged.

In the final scene, the teenagers' bloody corpses were seen to have been strewn on the porch and at the front of the porch; the chainsaw and the masked man were covered in blood, whilst he was taking a selfie. We considered that some viewers would find the final image excessively graphic, notwithstanding that it was intended to be comedic. We further considered that the contrast in bloodiness and goriness between the preceding scenes, which were moderate, and the ending scene was unexpected and would be shocking for some viewers, particularly as they might have expected the preceding cut screen, in which an image of the product was shown against a white background, to be the conclusion of the ad. Because of the unanticipated amount of gore at the end of the ad, we considered that the ad was likely to cause undue distress.

Because of the nature of the ad and in particular its unexpectedly shocking content in the final scene, we considered that some adult viewers would find the ad distressing and in addition, that it was unsuitable for a child audience. We therefore considered that careful targeting was required to ensure that the ad was only shown to an appropriate audience, for example, to those who had expressed an interest in content aligned with the horror or slasher genre, or those whose previous activity indicated that they were comfortable with viewing such content. We further considered that the ad should have been targeted in a manner that it did not appear around content that was likely to appeal to children. However, whilst we noted that OnePlus's media plan targeted audiences above the age of 16, it had not otherwise been targeted towards audiences that were less likely to be distressed by the content, and in one instance the ad was seen by the complainant's 7-year-old child on a video sharing platform account with parent controls settings in place, before a video that was related to Thomas the Tank Engine.

For the above reasons, we considered that the ad had not been appropriately targeted and was likely to cause undue distress. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told OnePlus to ensure that similar future ads did not contain anything that was likely to cause undue distress to its likely audience.

 

  ASA recommends...

Sunset Booze Cruise from Magaluf Events


Link Here 28th March 2018

sunset booze cruise A web page on the website www.magalufevents.com, seen on 1 December 2018, promoting a Sunset Booze Cruise, included the text Sunset Booze Cruise 2018...Magaluf's biggest Award winning Booze Cruise is back...You'll see the mayhem we cause on the Mediterranean is unrivalled anywhere on the planet!...with an UNLIMITED FREE bar for THREE hours you're onboard [sic]. We also include FREE shots of Sambuca, Apple Sourz, Skittle Vodka! We promise you will walk on the boat but we'll have you crawling off!... Event Duration 3 hours BAR Unlimited FREE BAR. A table on the website indicated that a standard priced ticket gave access to the unlimited free bar and VIP tickets included an additional bottle of champagne per person. At the bottom of the web page a collage of 18 photos were displayed as part of the image gallery for previous events. Images featured two females kissing, one female drinking from a spirits bottle and a man rubbing his face into a woman's chest.

The complainant challenged whether:

  1. the ad irresponsibly promoted excessive consumption of alcohol;

  2. those featured in the ad appeared to be under the age of 25; and

  3. the ad linked alcohol with sexual success at the event.

Magaluf Events stated that they had been diligent in checking identification and that they had consent forms from those involved with any promotional work, including those featured on the web page, to state that they were over 25 years of age. They explained that they would not be looking to change the images of those featured on their website because those featured were over the age of 25. They said that appearing to be over 25 was subjective and they worked on a factual basis.

They acknowledged that there were issues with elements of their content and images regarding the promotion of sexual activity and alcohol consumption and stated that they were willing to make amendments to their website.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

1. Upheld

The CAP Code required marketing communications to be socially responsible and contain nothing that was likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that were unwise, including encouraging excessive drinking.

Tickets to the event included an unlimited free bar for a three-hour duration, including unlimited shots of spirits such as vodka and Sambuca. In addition to this, a VIP ticket entitled the purchaser to a bottle of champagne per person as well as access to a free bar at a pre party. We considered that the large amount of alcohol offered within the time frame specified, combined with the phrase we'll have you crawling off! and the gallery image of a woman shown to be drinking from a spirit bottle, promoted excessive consumption of alcohol, which was further emphasised by the event title Sunset Booze Cruise and was therefore in breach of the Code.

2. Upheld

The CAP Code required that people shown drinking alcohol or playing a significant role in a marketing communication must neither be, nor seem to be, under 25 years of age. While Magaluf Events stated that they had checked the identification of those featured on the web page and confirmed that they were over 25, they had not provided any evidence to demonstrate this was the case. We considered that several people appeared to be under 25, including some who were shown to be drinking alcohol. We further considered that although some individuals were not shown drinking alcohol, because they were selected from the image gallery to appear on the event page they still played a significant role in the ad. We therefore concluded the ad was in breach of the Code.

3.Upheld

We considered that images of a sexual nature were featured on the event page, such as images showing two people kissing and a man rubbing his face into a woman's chest. We also considered the images of attendees holding up signs with the text I'm behaving badly on Sunset Booze Cruise, Single as F*** and I left my boyfriend back in England were sexually suggestive and implied that those attending the event would be sexually successful. We considered that the ad's emphasis on the large quantities of alcohol offered and the inclusion of the images selected from the image gallery to promote the Booze Cruise event linked alcohol with sexual activity and therefore breached the Code.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Magaluf Events to ensure that their future advertising was socially responsible, did not encourage excessive drinking or feature those who appeared to be under 25 years of age drinking alcohol or playing a significant role, and did not link alcohol to sexual activity.

 

  Revisionist censorship...

Ofcom censor old derogatory word from the 1970s TV series, A Family at War


Link Here 24th February 2018

Family At War - Complete Series - uncut full length Box Set A Family At War
Talking Pictures TV, 19 November 2017, 20:15

Talking Pictures TV is an entertainment channel broadcasting classic films and archive programmes.

A Family At War was a British period drama series made between 1970 and 1972, about the experiences of a family from Liverpool during the Second World War. The episode Hazard was produced in 1971 and showed one of the main characters, Philip Ashton, serving in the British army in Egypt in 1942, focusing on his encounter with another soldier, Jack Hazard.

We received a complaint about offensive language in this episode, as follows:

  • in a scene set in an army mess in the Egypt desert, Hazard, a white British soldier, ordered some drinks and asked the barkeeper to get a waiter to bring the drinks over to where Hazard and Ashton were sitting by saying: “Send the wog over with them, will you?”. When the Egyptian waiter brought the drinks to Hazard and Ashton’s table, Hazard said to him, “And how’s the war going for you, Ahmed, you thieving old wog…you old thief…you thieving old sod?”;

  • in a scene set in Hazard and Ashton’s tent on their army base, Hazard asked Ashton to accompany him to the army bar by saying: “Let’s go down to the woggery, there’s bound to be a fair bit of skirt out of bounds… Or perhaps Ahmed could fix us up with a female wog? [laughs] I bet he rents out his kid sister”; and

  • in a later scene set in Hazard and Ashton’s tent Hazard said the following to Ashton: “You know what I think I’ll do on my next leave? I’ll pay a visit to the wog tattooist”.

Ofcom considered rule 2.3:

“In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context…”.

Talking Pictures said that it believed the inclusion of the potentially offensive racist language in this episode was justified by the context. It explained that the creator of the series, John Finch, had intended it to challenge the 1970s audience's understanding of the Second World War by being honest to the realities of the war time period206 shocking as that may be, and broadcast within the constraints and conventions of the time.

Talking Pictures said that it had suspended any further broadcast of this episode. It also said that it had contracted a third-party expert to conduct a review of all content containing racial language to complement its existing compliance system

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 2.3

We first considered whether the language had the potential to cause offence. Ofcom's 2016 research on offensive language makes clear that the word wog is considered by audiences to be a derogatory term for black people and to be among the strongest language and highly unacceptable without strong contextualisation.

We considered that the word wog was used in a clearly derogatory way towards an Egyptian character Ahmed, both directly to Ahmed's face and later when he is not present. The Licensee argued that some of Hazard's offensive statements related to actual Second World War references, namely the term WOG [which] was originally 'Working on Government Service' before it became an ethnic and racial slur. We understand that the derivation of wog is contested, but irrespective of its origins, and as acknowledged by Talking Pictures, the term today is considered highly offensive.

We acknowledged that the Licensee's audience would have recognised that they were watching a programme made several decades ago when attitudes to language were different. However, we considered that the repeated use of highly offensive racist language without direct challenge carried a high risk of causing significant offence today.

It is Ofcom's view that the broadcast of this offensive language exceeded generally accepted standards, in breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.

Talking Pictures was previously found in breach of the Code for the broadcast of racially offensive language without sufficient contextual justification on 9 January 20173 and 8 January 20184 (for material broadcast on 24 August 2016 and 13 September 2017 respectively). Ofcom is requesting Talking Pictures to attend a meeting to discuss its

A little background about Talking Pictures

24th February 2018. See  article from express.co.uk

talking pictures tv logoTalking Pictures TV, a family-owned, father and daughter-run station with only three members of staff, launched on Freeview less than three years ago but it already has over two million viewers.

Its unashamedly nostalgic diet of mainly old black-andwhite films, documentary shorts and TV series of yesteryear has proved a huge hit with the public and - we are informed - the Queen.

Alas not everyone is happy about the great service to film and vintage TV buffs that the channel is providing. Media regulator Ofcom has summoned Talking Pictures TV managing director Sarah Cronin-Stanley and her father Noel to a meeting to discuss compliance issues after the channel was found in breach of rules regarding the broadcasting of offensive language.  Sarah commented:

There are some films that are too horrible to show. But our view of context is different to Ofcom's. The word used in A Family At War is one that quite rightly we don't use today but it was one the character - who wasn't very likeable - would have used at the time in which the drama was set, which is why we didn't censor it. He was in Egypt during the war and was talking to squaddies.

The Express writer commented:

It's also worth bearing in mind that A Family At War was hugely popular when first shown on ITV in the 1970s.

The Ofcom intervention raises serious issues about censorship and attempts to rewrite history. The fact is that terms we regard as offensive today were used by people every day in the past.

Ofcom can't censor British TV history - surely we are meant to learn from the past

Daily Mail logo24th February 2018. See  article from dailymail.co.uk

And of course a few colourful comments from the Daily Mail. See  article from dailymail.co.uk

 

  There is no compromise, only absolute tolerance from both sides will work...

ASA impossibly asked to get involved in a religious dispute where a belief is a core truth to one side and heresy to the other


Link Here 23rd February 2018
contended islam ukUK Muslims have reportedly launched a campaign to have Ahmadiyya billboards removed from sites in London, Manchester and Glasgow.

Mainstream, Muslims say that  the billboard incites hatred, it is deeply offensive and hurtful to millions of British citizens, but for the Ahmadiyya it is a core belief.

The ASA confirmed that it has received 33 complaints so far about the adverts. A spokesman said people have claimed the billboards are:

Misleading because they believe it is not consistent with the teachings of the Koran. Due to the perceived misrepresentation of Muslim beliefs, complainants also consider the ad offensive on this basis.

On the other hand the Ahmadiyya community believes that the Messiah promised in the Koran has already come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

The ASA says it is assessing the complaints and will make a ruling this week as to whether there are grounds for further investigation. But of course it cannot possibly investigate as an outcome either way would be totally untenable under human rights law upholding the freedom of religion. Even a neutral ruling saying that the poster does not cause issue with ASA rules would likely to be interpreted as support for one side or the other.

 

  Aldi's Kevin the Carrot banned...

More infantile censorship from ASA


Link Here 21st February 2018

aldi kevin the carrot video A TV ad for Aldi featured a computer-generated image of a carrot that stated, I see dead parsnips. The voice-over then stated, Kevin was feeling a little bit tense. He thought there were spirits. He had a sixth sense. As it turned out his instincts were right. There were a few spirits that cold Christmas night. Award winning bottles for raising a toast and one frightened carrot had just seen a ghost. The ending of the ad showed Kevin the carrot being frightened by another character dressed-up as a ghost with a white blanket over them. Throughout the ad were scenes showing various bottles of spirits.

One complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it was likely to have strong appeal to people under 18 years of age.

Aldi Stores Ltd stated whilst Kevin the Carrot (Kevin) was intended to be humorous, it was not designed to have specific appeal to under-18s. Aldi believed much of the humour in the situations in which Kevin had been placed since his first appearance in 2016 was of a nature that would be more appealing to adults than to children.

Aldi stated because the ad was promoting alcohol, it was scheduled in accordance with the BCAP Code and therefore was not aired adjacent to programmes likely to appeal to under-18s.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA noted the ad was subject to a broadcast restriction which meant it was not transmitted during or adjacent to children's programmes, which included all programmes commissioned for, directed at or likely to appeal to under-18 audiences. The BCAP Code required alcohol ads must not be likely to appeal strongly to people under 18 years of age, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture or showing adolescent or juvenile behaviour.

We considered that Kevin the Carrot appeared to be childlike and had a high-pitched voice, similar to that of a young child. Furthermore, we understood Kevin was sold as a soft toy during the Christmas period and was popular amongst under 18-year-olds, particularly young children. We therefore considered that Kevin was likely to have strong appeal to audiences under the age of 18.

We also considered the Christmas theme of the ad contributed to the likelihood of Kevin having strong appeal to under-18s. We noted that choir music was played in the background whilst the voice-over told a short and simple narrative poem. Although the content of the dialogue and poem, which made use of a pun on spirits, was not typical content for children, we considered the tone was reminiscent of a children's story, therefore it was likely to resonate with and strongly appeal to younger children. Furthermore, we considered the ending of the ad showing Kevin being frightened by another character dressed-up as a ghost would be particularly funny for younger children and consequently, contributed to the overall effect of the ad having strong appeal to under-18s.

Because of that, we considered the ad was likely to appeal strongly to people under-18 and given that it was promoting alcohol, we concluded was irresponsible.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Aldi that their future ads for alcohol must not be likely to appeal strongly to people under-18 years of age.

 

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