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  Naked extremism...

PC censors object to trivial nudity in an advert for bathroom installers


Link Here 23rd June 2017

hds virtual tour advertTwo website ads for HDS Builders:

  • a. A virtual tour link for a bathroom installation on www.hdsbuilders.co.uk, seen on 21 March 2017, featured an image of a naked woman showering.

  • b. A still image from the virtual tour, showing the naked woman, with the option to click on the tour, was seen on the home page of www.wetroomswales.co.uk on 15 May 2017.

A complainant challenged whether the image of the naked woman in ads (a) and (b) was offensive and unsuitable for display in an untargeted medium.

HDS Builders said people did not shower wearing clothing and therefore the image of the naked woman showering was appropriate for a virtual tour of a bathroom installation. They appreciated that some people might not find the image acceptable, but no intimate body parts were visible and they did not believe it was indecent.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA acknowledged that someone using a shower would be naked, but considered that it was not essential to use such an image in order to explain how a shower worked or to highlight a bathroom installation. Although the image had some relevancy to a bathroom and shower, we nonetheless considered it was likely to be seen as sexist and to demean women by using their physical features for no other reason than to draw attention to the advertising.

The woman was fully nude, shown full length side on, with her bottom sticking out, her back arched and with some of her breast visible under her folded arms. In light of the nudity, we considered the pose was provocative and could be seen to be sexually suggestive with the tone further enhanced in the virtual tour in ad (a) because it was possible to freeze the image, zoom in and out and change the angle.

We considered that, because the websites were for a builder, consumers would not expect to see a naked woman either on the home page of ad (b) or at the start of the virtual tour in ads (a) and (b), and the image had the potential to be seen by many people who were likely to find it offensive.

We therefore concluded that the ads were inappropriately targeted and, because of the amount of nudity and the woman's sexually provocative pose, the image was likely to cause serious offence.

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told HDS Builders not to use similar images in its advertising in future.

 

  Carry on Censor...

PC censor gets ludicrously easily offended by double entendre in an advert for turf


Link Here 15th June 2017

revo turf advertAn ad for Revo Turf, an artificial grass supplier and installer, seen in the landscape gardening trade magazine Pro Landscaper on 4 April 2017, featured an image of a woman's legs from the knee down. Her legs were bare and she was wearing high heels, and standing on artificial grass. Large text stated The best way to get laid ..., followed by a description of the advertiser's products in smaller text. The description concluded The Turf Group is the only place to get a good lay.

The complainant challenged whether the references to getting laid in combination with the image were offensive.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA understood that laying turf was a commonly used term in the landscaping sector. We also acknowledged that the image of the woman's legs was not sexually explicit. However, we considered that when the image was combined with the headline The best way to get laid and the further text The Turf Group is the only place to get a good lay, the references would be understood as a double entendre linking the landscaping terminology of laying turf with the slang terminology of getting laid. We considered that connection had the effect of demeaning and objectifying women by presenting them as sexual objects in order to draw attention to the ad. We therefore concluded the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some consumers.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Pile Height Ltd t/a Turf Group to ensure that future ads did not portray women in a manner that objectified them and which was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 

  ASA's inner demon implores 'go on, ban it, you know you want to!'...

Advert censor bans cinema advert given a PG rating by the BBFC


Link Here 7th June 2017

begambleaware advertA cinema ad for Responsible Gambling Trust, seen in February 2017, showed a young woman sitting on her bed while an older man sat on a desk in the corner of the room. The older man said, in a sinister and menacing way, What is it? What is it? It's just a bit of fun. Hey [laughs] it's just a bit of fun. It's just a bit of fun. Remember that rush. The best feeling you've ever had. Your words, it was perfect, you said it was. It was 10 out of 10; it was 100 out of 100. You tingled, you tingled. Your whole body was tingling. Don't tell me you don't remember that, you remember that, you remember every second of that. You of all people need to have a little bit of fun. Fun 206 fun 206 fun. You are a great winner; I'm not just saying that. I'm saying it, you're a great winner. [Laughs] You and me let's go, let's do it again, let's do it again. You love it there, I love it there; you always win there. You're a winner there, you and me now. That place that you've never felt so good. During the monologue close up shots focused on his eyes and mouth. After the monologue, the girl went over to the desk where the man had disappeared and a laptop was revealed in his place. On the screen a bingo game was shown and she appeared to sign in and play. Large text then stated BeGambleAware.org.Issue

The complainant, who believed the role of the male character could be interpreted as predatory and sexually abusive, objected that the ad was likely to cause offence and distress.

Responsible Gambling Trust trading as BeGambleAware said they provided a brief to agencies where they insisted on safeguards including testing the ad with the target age range (15- to 24-year olds) to give assurance that the ad did not inspire viewers to gamble, or was too unnerving and therefore would obscure the message, or to be mistaken for ads against gambling, rather than about the risks of problem gambling. They said in the light of the classifications given by British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and Cinema Advertising Agency (CAA), they decided to target only 18s or over with the ad. They said they deliberately only agreed to show the ad in cinemas before the film Trainspotting 2, an 18+ rated film about hard drug addiction. They argued that public awareness about problem gambling justified and outweighed any potential for offence that might be caused.

They also provided a statement issued by the BBFC about the content of the ad which said In the public information film a woman lies on a bed in a sparsely furnished, rather bleak bedroom as a man sits on a desk, which is set back from the bed. The two characters do not have any physical contact and only the man speaks. The man encourages the woman to gamble by persistently reminding her of the buzz it offers and by suggesting that she deserves a little bit of fun. The woman is conflicted as to whether or not to give into her desire to gamble. Whilst she is reluctant, worried and nervous at the beginning, following the man's persistent exhortations, she smiles, puts aside her qualms, opens her laptop (which appears where the man was seated), and logs onto an online gambling site. The suggestion of inner turmoil and conflicted feelings on her part, as well as some slightly creepy aspects to the man's monologue on the pleasures of gambling mean the film was most appropriately placed at PG for the mildly unsettling tone and for the suggestion of addiction-related psychological turmoil. The BBFC also noted that the film contains a strong anti-gambling message.

The Cinema Advertising Association (CAA) said they approved the ad on the condition of its being restricted to screening with 12A films and above.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA considered that until the reveal in the final moments of the ad, viewers were unlikely to understand what the ad was promoting. We considered that, after the reveal, most viewers would understand that the male character was a metaphor or representative of an inner monologue. We noted that the advertiser's intention was to demonstrate a woman in her bedroom battling against the urge to gamble online, but we considered that for much of the ad this purpose was ambiguous and unclear.

We acknowledged the CAA's view that there were parallels drawn between sexual seduction and being seduced by the thrill of an early win on a gambling site. That view was supported by the threatening and coercive language used, the predatory manner by which the monologue was delivered and the female character's positioning and behaviour, indicative of fear and shame. However, we considered that up until the reveal there was no information or other explanatory features in the ad that would provide the viewer with context for why they were viewing what they were viewing. We considered that, because of the lack of context, the ad reproduced a scenario of abuse. We considered that viewing such a scenario of abuse, notwithstanding the use of metaphor and the fact the ad was only seen before the film Trainspotting 2 which was about drug addiction, was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We also considered that viewers would find the sexually coercive and abusive scenario shocking and distressing and that victims/survivors of abuse would find the ad highly distressing and/or traumatic. We did not consider that the advertiser's intention (as presented in the ad) justified the distress experienced by viewers generally, and the distress caused to this vulnerable group in particular.

We therefore concluded that the ad was offensive and breached the Code. The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Responsible Gambling Trust to avoid using similarly offensive and distressing material in their future advertising.

 

  Widespread offence of 1 complainant and 1 PC extremist advert censor...

ASA bans online casino advert from Daily Star Wins for a casino featuring sexy female croupiers


Link Here 11th May 2017

daily star wins video A TV ad for StarWins.com, seen on 17 January 2017, began with a shot of two men standing at a bar in a pub next to a table where a man and a woman were chatting to each other. One of the men at the bar watched a woman as she walked past before a voice-over stated, Allow me to introduce you to Star Wins and one of the men pulled out his mobile phone and swiped the screen. The men were transported to a casino. The camera panned from a woman in a sequined dress dancing on a stage to the men as they walked down a flight of stairs. As they reached the floor of the casino the voice-over stated, For you card sharks we've got real female croupiers who can handle that as a woman wearing a sequined gold dress walked between them. The men watched her as she walked towards and past them and turned to look behind them to continue watching her as she walked to join the other dancers on stage. The men smiled at each other and continued further into the casino. The voice-over stated, Or if roulette is your thing, we'll put you in a spin 24/7 as the two men walked past a table where two female croupiers wearing tight, low-cut dresses stood with two female and one male gambler. The croupiers watched the men closely as they walked past. The men then approached a roulette table where a female croupier stood, along with a group of mainly female gamblers. One of the men flipped a chip onto the table while staring intently at the croupier. The voice-over continued, You'll be surprised where it can take you. Star Wins. Get in the game as the men were shown throwing chips into the air in celebration, surrounded by the group of women. A final shot showed them celebrating back at the bar in the pub. The couple at the table next to the bar turned to smile at them.

1. One complainant, who felt the ad was sexist and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was offensive.

2. The ASA challenged whether the ad suggested that gambling could enhance personal qualities, and linked gambling to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA noted that all the casino employees seen in the ad were women and that the majority of the people present in the casino were women. While in the casino the men only interacted with each other or with women (rather than other men), and when interacting with women in each case either the men or the women gave each other intense looks which suggested they were appraising them physically. We considered the ad put particular visual emphasis both on the generally high proportion of women in the casino and on the physical attractiveness of the female casino employees to the two male protagonists.

We considered that the combination of those visual emphases with the voice-over specifically highlighting that Daily Star Wins (which provided only online casino services) employed real female croupiers, served to depict the presence of physically attractive women as the key attraction of Daily Star Wins. We considered the ad therefore objectified women, and concluded it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence on that basis.

2. Upheld

When the men were initially shown in the pub the only person who paid attention to them was the barman serving their drinks. We noted that in contrast, in the casino they exchanged intense looks with the female casino employees, a group of people (mainly consisting of women) began to gather around them as they approached the roulette table, and that group had grown when they were shown winning and celebrating. We considered that all those aspects of the ad together created an impression that the men's interest in and eventual success at gambling had gained them recognition and admiration, and made them more popular and attractive to women. We concluded the ad therefore suggested that gambling could enhance personal qualities, and that it linked gambling to seduction and enhanced attractiveness.

Action

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Bear Group Ltd t/a Daily Star Wins to ensure their ads did not cause serious or widespread offence through the depiction of or objectification of women. We also told them to ensure their ads did not suggest that gambling could enhance personal qualities, or link gambling to seduction or enhanced attractiveness.

 

  Keeping Up with Appearances...

ASA dismisses whinges about Protein World advert featuring Khloe Kardashian


Link Here 9th May 2017

can you keep up with a kardashian advertA poster and digital outdoor ad for Protein World, seen in February 2017:

a. The poster was seen on the London Underground network and featured Khloe Kardashian in a swimsuit with text that stated Can You Keep Up with a KARDASHIAN? . Text further stated Take the protein world 30 Day Challenge .

b. The digital outdoor ad featured the same text and image as ad (a).

Fourteen complainants, who believed the ads promoted an unhealthy and competitive approach to dieting, objected that the ads were socially irresponsible.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA understood that the Copy Advice team had seen the ads prior to them appearing and advised that they were likely to be acceptable.

We considered that the ads promoted Khloe Kardashian's body image as desirable and aspirational; this was supported by her pose and the airbrushed style. However, we did not consider that she appeared to be out of proportion or unhealthy.

We considered that people would understand the phrase Can you keep up with a Kardashian? was double entendre; to be understood as referencing both the popular TV series Keeping up with the Kardashians which Khloe Kardashian appeared in and the use of Protein World's products to achieve a desirable body image. We further considered that readers would regard Take the 30 Day Challenge read in conjunction with the former phrase and the product name The Slender Blend to mean that if they used Protein World's products and followed the challenge regime they could lose weight.

We acknowledged that the use of the terms Can you keep up with ... and challenge could be interpreted as having a competitive quality, but we did not consider that the terms or the ads overall encouraged excessive weight loss or other extreme or potentially harmful dieting behaviour. We therefore concluded the ads were not socially irresponsible.