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 2012: July-Sept

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  Carry On Advert Censors...

ASA easily offended by innuendo in Rustlers adverts


Link Here 27th September 2012
fit as a butchers daughter video Four ads, for Rustlers convenience food, appeared on a range of different platforms.
  • a. The VOD ad was shown on 4oD and ITV Player. The ad featured a woman, wearing a short butcher's apron, stockings, suspenders and high heels, in a butcher's shop. A sign on the wall behind her stated FIT AS A BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER . The woman said in a sultry voice, Hi there. I've something really satisfying to show you, so join me in my butcher's shop. Dad's left me in charge, which means we've got the place to ourselves. Just you, me and plenty of well-hung meat. The woman then pointed at on-screen text which stated Click for more and said, You know you want to. Clicking on the text took viewers to the advertiser's website, www.rustlersonline.com.
  • b. The ad appeared in an iPad game app.
  • c. The ad appeared on YouTube
  • d. The ad appeared  on the MailOnline website
  • e. The ad on the MailOnline and the local news website, www.thisissouthwales.co.uk, appeared next to an article. Text, written on a blackboard, stated Rustlers BOYS ARE ALWAYS COMPLIMENTING ME ON MY NICE RACK . The last two words were much larger than the preceding text. The woman from ad (a) danced into view with her back to the viewer, wiggling her bottom. She was wearing black knickers with the butcher's apron, stockings and suspenders. She stopped, glanced suggestively over her shoulder towards the viewer, and winked. The text on the board changed to state FIT AS A BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER CLICK FOR MORE . The woman bent her knees and pointed at the viewer, kicked her leg back and walked off camera.
  • f. The first ad on www.rustlersonline.com featured the same woman in the butcher's shop, again speaking in a sultry voice, and emphasising certain words which could be taken as innuendo. She said, Oh yes, you know how the script goes, don't you boys? Your starving mates keep coming over, so here's some ideas for mouth watering, tasty treats to give them. Rustlers subs, Rustlers burgers on my lovely baps, or Rustlers wraps are sure to go down a storm and tackle their hunger. Containing no hydrogenated fat, we can trace your meat back to its farm of origin. She was shown stroking a large salami sausage. She continued, It's flame-grilled and coated in my creamy mayo salsa or barbeque sauce, guaranteed to satisfy your drooling mouth. They're quick and easy to cook and if you offer a touch of liquid refreshment too, the shout from your mates will be 'I want some more'. A sign was shown which stated FIT AS A BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER Rustlers . The ad also included an interactive element; when website users hit numbers on their keyboard, the ad skipped to certain points throughout the ad.
  • g. The second ad on www.rustlersonline.com also featured the same woman in the same setting, speaking in the same way and again emphasising certain words. She said, I want your full attention boys, because I'm going to tell you about what goes in to the great Rustlers range. We began in Ireland as a family butchers with a deep passion for making quality meat products for those who want good food, fast. We take pride in all that we do, because before I put something in my mouth I want to know where it's been. The woman was shown stroking a sausage. She continued, So we always know where your meat has been farmed and reared, and from the barbeque sauce we put over succulent ribs to our creamy mayonnaise, everything we touch is handled with care. Our baps are fluffy and delicious. I pop my buns in the toaster so they don't go too soft in the microwave. Maybe you should try that too. A sign was shown which stated FIT AS A BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER Rustlers . The ad included the same interactive element as ad (f).

The ASA received 18 complaints.

  1. All the complainants challenged whether the ads were offensive, because they were sexist to women and presented them as merely sex objects.
  2. Four complainants challenged whether ads (a) and (b) were appropriate to be seen by children.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld in relation to ads (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e)

The ASA noted the woman in the ads was wearing revealing clothing, that in ads (a) to (d) she used mild innuendo to encourage viewers to follow the link to the advertiser's website, and that in ad (e) mild innuendo appeared on the blackboard beside her. We acknowledged that some viewers might find the ads distasteful, in part because there was only a tentative link between the product and the use of a woman wearing revealing clothing and using innuendo. However, we considered that the woman's clothing, the language used, and the dance in ad (e), were not sexually provocative or explicit, and the ads did not present women merely as sex objects. We concluded ads (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Upheld in relation to ads (f) and (g)

We acknowledged the ads were similar in theme and appearance to ads (a) to (e). However, we considered that some of the innuendo in ads (f) and (g) was significantly stronger, particularly because it was emphasised by some of the woman's actions, it was sexually provocative, and it was the focus of the ad rather than the information she gave about the product. We considered the overall effect of the ads was that the woman was presented as a sex object. We concluded the ads were likely to cause widespread offence as a result.

Notwithstanding that, we noted the interactive element of the ads could be used by website users to jump to certain words or phrases in the woman's speech which, although likely to be considered as innuendo when the ad was viewed in full, became sexually explicit when combined in different orders by the user. We considered the interactivity therefore accentuated the presentation of the woman as merely a sex object. We concluded the interactive element to the ads was likely to cause both serious and widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated ads (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence), but did not find them in breach.

On this point, ads (f) and (g) breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

2. Not upheld in relation to ad (a)

We understood the complainants' concerns and agreed that the ad was not appropriate to be seen by children, because it contained sexual innuendo and the woman was wearing sexually suggestive clothing. However, we noted that none of the complainants had stated that they were aware of children who had seen the ad on VOD, and we considered that both Channel 4 and ITV had taken appropriate steps to prevent the ad from being viewed by children. We concluded that the VOD ad was not socially irresponsible.

Upheld in relation to ad (b)

For the reasons stated above, we considered the ad was not appropriate to be seen by children. We noted the audience to whom the ad had been targeted but were concerned it was likely that the ad had been served to consumers outside the target audience; for example, we understood that the complainants who had seen the ad during the iPad game and on news websites, which were media targeted by Kepak's network advertising partner, were all female. We also understood that where targeting was based on online behaviour or even demographic data provided by an internet user, ads could only be targeted to individual devices or logins on those devices, rather than to specific consumers. We considered it was therefore likely that children, who often used devices owned by their parents, such as iPads, to play games or access the Internet, could have viewed the ad. We considered the advertiser should have taken greater care to ensure the ad could not be viewed by children, and concluded the targeting of the ad during the iPad game was not responsible advertising.

On this point, we investigated ad (a) under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising), but did not find it in breach.

On this point, ad (b) breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising).

 

  Blood Suckers...

ASA tackle the issue of a DVD being inaccurately described as uncut


Link Here 19th September 2012

Blood Vampire DVD Donald Wolfit Claims on www.uncut-dvds.co.uk, for a DVD of a horror film, stated Blood of the Vampire (uncut) .

The complainant, who had purchased the DVD and found that certain scenes were missing, challenged whether the claim that the advertised product was the uncut version was misleading and could be substantiated.

Uncut-DVDs.co.uk (Uncut) said the DVD offered was exactly as described and shown and was verifiably the uncut version of the film. They said they were already aware of the complainant who would have been aware of the running time when they purchased the film from Uncut. They provided links to other websites selling the same film.

Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA understood that the advertised film had been released in 1958 and had, at that time, been submitted to the BBFC who had made cuts to nine scenes for cinema release. We also understood that the film had been resubmitted to the BBFC in 2005 for DVD release and no cuts had been made. However, we understood that the BBFC's records did not allow them to tell whether the film submitted in 2005 was the full length theatrical version or the BBFC cut version.

We considered that to substantiate the claim that the advertised version was uncut, the advertiser needed to demonstrate that it was the full length theatrical version, i.e. the same as that which was originally submitted to the BBFC. We considered that they might demonstrate that by, for example, showing that their DVD version had been transferred from the original uncut print of the film, or by showing that it contained shots and scenes that had been cut by the BBFC.

However, because they had not done so, we concluded that the claim was unsubstantiated and therefore misleading.

The claim breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

The claim must not appear again in its current form. We told Uncut-DVDs to ensure they held evidence to show that their DVDs were uncut versions.

 

  Bearly Credible...

ASA dismiss a single whinge about a poster for the film Ted


Link Here 6th September 2012

ted A website ad for the film Ted , on www.tedisreal.co.uk, showed an adult male and a large teddy bear standing in front of urinals, with their backs to the viewer. The teddy bear held a glass beer bottle in one hand. Text at the top of the image stated the first motion picture from the creator of family guy ... ted In Cinemas August 1, 2012 . Issue

A complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, believing that the association of a children's toy with alcohol was likely to appeal to children.

Universal Pictures International UK & Eire Ltd (Universal) said the film had been given a 15 classification and was aimed at a predominantly adult audience. They said that, because teddy bears were associated with childhood, they had taken steps to ensure the image would not appeal to children or mislead or confuse viewers into understanding that the film was directed at children. They said the ad did not use a colour scheme or images (other than the teddy bear) which might appeal to children, and they believed that, by putting the teddy bear into an otherwise adult context, it was clear the poster was not for a children's film. All advertising materials had also stated the film's classification.

Universal said they accepted that teddy bears were inherently appealing to infants and very young children, but because such children would be unaware of the concept of alcohol, the ad would not encourage them to drink it. They said the bottle did not have a label which identified it as containing alcohol, and whilst adults or teenagers might associate such a bottle with alcohol, other drinks, including soft drinks, were available in bottles of a similar shape and colour. Young children would therefore be unlikely to recognise it as containing alcohol.

Universal considered the ad would not appeal to older children or teenagers because they were typically dismissive of toys, such as teddy bears, which they associated with younger children. They said the ad also did not include anything which might be associated with youth culture, did not show anyone behaving in an adolescent or juvenile way, and the scene was not glamorous or attractive. They said that even if young people understood that the bottle contained alcohol, the ad did not include anything which reflected an unwise style of drinking or drinking to excess. They considered the ad would not encourage under 18-year-olds to drink alcohol at all.

Universal said that, following receipt of the complaint, they had added an age-gate to the website; visitors must enter a date of birth which showed they were over 15 to gain access. They said the age-gate alerted visitors that the website contained content which was not suitable for children under the age of 15.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Not Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that Universal had added an age-gate to the website following receipt of the complaint. Notwithstanding that, we noted the complainant's concerns but considered the ad was unlikely to appeal particularly to people under the age of 18 in a way that might encourage them to drink. Whilst we acknowledged the image of a teddy bear might appeal to younger children, we considered that even if they were aware of alcohol and recognised the bottle as a beer bottle, the overall content of the ad was unlikely to encourage them to drink. We also considered that although teenagers would be more likely to recognise the bottle as a beer bottle, the ad would also not have a particular appeal to them or encourage them to drink. We concluded the ad did not breach the Code.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 18.1 and 18.14 (Alcohol), but did not find it in breach.

 

  Love Handball...

ASA whinge at jokey advert for bookies


Link Here 5th September 2012

love handball advert A banner ad for a betting website Bet-at-home.com on www.charltonathletic-mad.co.uk featured the text LIFE IS A GAME! alongside three consecutive changing images. The first image showed a woman's naked midriff. The second image showed a man's arms reaching around the woman and cupping her breasts. The third image showed the man's hands holding and partially covering the woman's breasts. The final image was replaced with text stating LOVE HANDBALL? followed by EUR50 SPORT BONUS! .

The complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive.

Bet-at-home.com Internet Ltd (Bet-at-home) did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

charltonathletic-mad.co.uk believed the ad did not breach the Code. They said it was an adult-targeted ad for a bookmaker so the content was entirely appropriate. They said they had received no complaints about the ad.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA was concerned by bet-at-home's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of the CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and we told them to do so in future.

We understood that the ad was for a betting website and was published on an unofficial fan website for Charlton Athletic. We noted the publisher's comments that the ad was targeted at an adult audience. However, we also noted that the complainant considered the ad was offensive as he believed it portrayed women as sexual objects. We considered that the ad made a crude comparison between the game of handball and a woman's breasts and that the images were sexually explicit. We also noted that the images bore no relation to the service being advertised. We therefore considered that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some consumers.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.

 

 Comment: From the Seat of Easy Offence...

ASA offended by sofa advert with a Sikh religious character


Link Here 18th August 2012

Statue Guru Nanak 20 cm A TV ad for a Birmingham furniture shop showed an image of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, followed by shots of the exterior of the shop and various sofas in the showroom. The ad featured a song in the style of the sacred Sikh verses (Gurmantar) with the following lyrics, in Punjabi: True Name of God is 'You are Wonderous'; Come to The Sofa Factory in Birmingham; Measure and make your corner sofas; reupholster your older sofas; change the foam and springs; my father Sarvan Singh sowed the seeds of this business; I come from the village 'Kooner Dhanni'. Come on Dad; I get plenty of your love and good wishes. Plenty of Love. You (God) are my Guru, my True Guru. Sofa Factory .

A viewer challenged whether the ad, and specifically the use of Guru Nanak and the Gurmantar, was offensive.

Sangat TV said they had accepted the ad because it was already playing on another channel. They said it was not their intention to offend any viewers, the ad was now off air and they would not accept ads that were likely to be similarly problematic in future.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

We noted that the ad featured an image of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, and also featured Sikh verses which had been adapted with lyrics promoting the advertisers' business. We considered that the use of the central icon of the Sikh faith and the use and distortion of religious verses to advertise products made light of those important elements of the Sikh faith in a way that was likely to cause serious offence to some members of the Sikh community.

The ad breached BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence).

Offsite Comment: Who Needs a Blasphemy Law?

18th August 2012. See  article from  secularism.org.uk

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said:

The Advertising Standards Authority's attitude to religion is becoming more like an inquisition every day. You can hardly mention anything to do with religion without somebody complaining -- and now it seems only one person has to whinge in order to successfully censor advertising. Who needs a blasphemy law when you've got the ASA to enforce your religious privileges? The Complaints Committee will be donning scarlet robes soon.

 

  Old Lady's Tipple...

ASA panders to whinger claiming Madonna vodka ad appeals to children


Link Here 17th August 2012

smirnoff madonna advert video A TV ad promoted a competition to win VIP passes to a Madonna tour, in association with Smirnoff vodka. The voice-over stated Last November Smirnoff gave 11 dancers a chance to compete for a spot on Madonna's next tour. Now you can be there too. Get the Smirnoff Limited edition pack and you could win VIP access to Madonna's next tour. Madonna's MDNA, available now everywhere. The ad featured shots of individual dancers followed by scenes from a Madonna performance. There were a number of different shots of Madonna dancing amongst people and on stage. The ad also featured a shot of the limited edition Smirnoff bottle and box, which was accompanied by the text why let good times go bad, know the facts drinkaware.co.uk . The ad concluded by showing an image of Madonna's new album with the caption AVAILABLE NOW EVERYWHERE .

A complainant challenged whether the ad was harmful and irresponsible because he believed it would appeal to those under 18 years of age.

Diageo Great Britain Ltd (Diageo) said they did not believe that Madonna had a strong appeal to individuals under the age of 18, and therefore they understood that under 18s were unlikely to follow her example. They stated that Madonna was a 53-year-old performing artist who rose to prominence in the 1980s and that her fan base was predominantly made up of music lovers from the 1980s and 1990s.

ASA Decision: Complaint not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that Madonna was a performing artist that had risen to fame in the 1980s. We understood the longevity of her career, her established celebrity status and her strong media presence. We acknowledged that as well as still being active in the music industry and collaborating with a number of younger artists, she was also involved in the film industry and had launched two fashion labels. We noted, however, Diageo's research which showed that 4.7% of 12- to 17-year-olds in the UK were defined as Madonna fans, as they regularly listened to her music, had previously bought or downloaded her music, and followed her in the press or online.

We considered that the ad had been designed with Madonna's older fan base in mind and that the shots of the concert, the dancers and the Madonna soundtrack used, would not have particular resonance with younger audiences. We noted that the ad did not feature any individuals that appeared to be below the age of 25 and that no alcohol was consumed. We therefore concluded that the ad was not targeted at, or likely to appeal to, those under the age of 18.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.1 (Harm and offence) and, 19.15.1 and 19.15.2 (Rules that apply to alcohol advertisements) but did not find it in breach.

 

  No We Are Still Not Living in Iran...

More Worthless whinges about bikinis thrown out by ASA


Link Here 16th August 2012

matalan bikinis advertThree posters for Matalan swimwear:

a. The first ad showed three women wearing bikinis posing outside a row of beach huts. Text stated The economic outlook. Sunny. Bikini separates from 4 .

b. The second ad showed four women in bikinis standing on a beach looking into the distance. Text stated A boost for your economy ... Bikini separates 3 .

c. The third ad showed three women standing by the sea with their arms around each other, smiling. The woman in the centre was wearing a cover up and the two on either side of her were wearing bikinis. Text stated The economic outlook. Sunny. Bikini separates from 5 .

  1. One complainant challenged whether ads (a) and (b) were inappropriate to be displayed where they could be seen by children.

  2. Two complainants challenged whether ad (c) was offensive and unsuitable for display in an untargeted medium.

  3. One complainant challenged whether ad (c) was inappropriate to be displayed where it could be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA acknowledged the complainants had been concerned by the images and did not feel they were suitable for display in an untargeted medium. However, we noted the ads did not show any nudity and that the images of women wearing bikinis were clearly relevant to the product being advertised. We noted that the models were posed naturally in ads (b) and (c) and that the poses of the models in ad (a) were no more than mildly sexual. We considered that the models' facial expressions were not sexually provocative, and that the text did not contain any innuendo. Whilst we understood that the ads may not appeal to everyone, we considered that the ads were not sexual in tone and we concluded that they were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We investigated the ads under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach.

 

  Don't Get All Offended but...

Ofcom tells ASA it needs to review ASA's role as VOD advert censor


Link Here 16th August 2012

Ofcom logoA couple of year's ago Ofcom delegated the role of advert censor for Video on Demand to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Now they are reviewing that assignment and are inviting input from interested parties.

The rules for advertising on VOD as defined in EU legislation are a bit more basic than for advertising in other media. Ofcom specified the advertising rules as follows:

(1) Advertising of the following products is prohibited in on-demand programme services:

(a) cigarettes or other tobacco products;
(b) any prescription-only medicine.

(2) Advertising of alcoholic drinks is prohibited in on-demand programme services unless:

(a) it is not aimed at persons under the age of eighteen, and
(b) it does not encourage excessive consumption of such drinks.

(3) Advertising included in an on-demand programme service:

(a) must be readily recognisable as such, and
(b) must not use techniques which exploit the possibility of conveying a message subliminally or surreptitiously.

(4) Advertising included in an on-demand programme service must not:

(a) prejudice respect for human dignity;
(b) include or promote discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, nationality, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation;
(c) encourage behaviour prejudicial to health or safety;
(d) encourage behaviour grossly prejudicial to the protection of the environment;
(e) cause physical or moral detriment to persons under the age of eighteen;
(f) directly exhort such persons to purchase or rent goods or services in a manner which exploits their inexperience or credulity;
(g) directly encourage such persons to persuade their parents or others to purchase or rent goods or services;
(h) exploit the trust of such persons in parents, teachers or others; or
(i) unreasonably show such persons in dangerous situations.

I can't actually see where the rules allow ASA to claim its usual bollox about adverts causing widespread 'offence' of 1 person. I don't know how ASA cope without this fall back.

 

  Not Much X-Posed...

ASA dismiss whinges about lap dancing club advert


Link Here 13th August 2012

diamonds x-posed logoA regional press ad, for X-posed Gentleman's Club, showed a woman wearing lingerie and stockings with one knee on a chair and her hand on the other hip. Text stated Reading's only adult Caberet [sic]/Gentlemens's [sic] club Males, females, couples welcome *Dancers Required *Stage shows & Private fully nude dances available .

A reader challenged whether the ad was:

  1. offensive; and

  2. unsuitable to appear in a publication, which children might see.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted the woman in the ad was dressed in lingerie and stockings, but considered that the image was mildly provocative and not sexually explicit. While some readers might find such establishments objectionable, the text Stage shows & Private fully nude dances available described the type of club advertised and was not in itself likely to cause serious or widespread offence. We concluded that, although clear that an adult service was being advertised, the content of the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to readers.

On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

The ad was placed towards the back of a regional newspaper with other ads within the weekend entertainment section of the paper, which was unlikely to attract the attention or interest of children. We concluded that, given the relatively mild nature of the ad and that children were unlikely to see it, the ad was not unsuitable to appear in the publication.

On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.

 

  ASA is Hip...

Advert censor dismisses whinge about Dark Shadows TV ad


Link Here 10th August 2012

Dark Shadows DVD Johnny Depp A TV ad, for the film Dark Shadows , showed a male vampire character rising from a coffin. He asked What is the year? and another character replied 1972 . The vampire was then shown asking a girl What is your age? She replied 15. The vampire said 15 and no husband, we must put those birthing hips to good use at once.

A complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive and irresponsible, because it contained sexual references about an underage girl.

Warner Bros said the ad contained a series of brief scenes from the film which were clearly set in a fantasy and surreal world. They highlighted that the main character in the film, who also featured in the ad, was a fantasy vampire from the 1700s who had been released from his tomb in 1972 and was trying to understand and adapt to modern society. As the vampire had been born and lived in the 1700s, Warner Bros believed that most viewers would not perceive his comments to be reflective of the values of modern society.

Clearcast said the vampire's remarks should not be taken at face value, but understood in the context of the ad as a whole. They said the ad echoed the comedic nature of the film and they highlighted several comic cues including Depp's camp delivery, the girl's nonchalant reaction and the shot of the girl's mother rolling her eyes in comic contempt. They felt these cues, taken together, stressed the comedic and playful nature of the film and ensured that most viewers would not interpret the statement as a serious sexual proposition.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

The ASA considered that in the context of the ad most viewers would understand that the vampire was a fantasy character, who having been born and lived a long time in the past would have very different values to his contemporaries in the 1970s. We considered that the jovial tone of the ad, the playful music, and Johnny Depp's reputation for playing unusual and quirky characters, meant that most viewers would not see the vampire as threatening or his proposition as serious. We noted that the girl and her mother did not appear scared by the vampire's remarks but that their reactions emphasised how outmoded his beliefs were.

Although we considered that younger children might not understand the narrative of the ad or grasp the playful tone, we noted that it had been given an ex-kids restriction by Clearcast and that Warner Bros had taken a responsible approach to ensure younger children were not targeted by the ad. We considered that most viewers would not believe that the girl had been portrayed or represented in a sexual way, and therefore we concluded that the ad was not offensive or irresponsible.

We investigated the ad under BCAP code rules 1.2 (Responsible advertising), 4.2 (Harm and offence) and 5.5 (Children) but did not find it in breach.

 

  No We Are Not Living in Iran...

Worthless whinges about bikinis are thrown out by the ASA


Link Here 8th August 2012

hm bikini advertFive posters for H&M swimwear:

  • (a) One poster showed a woman sitting in shallow sea water, wearing a pink bikini. Text stated, Bikini top ?3.99 .

  • (b) A second poster showed a woman sitting upright on a beach, wearing a black bikini, a shawl around her shoulders and sunglasses. Text stated, Bikini top ?3.99 .

  • (c) A third poster showed a woman standing in shallow sea water, wearing a patterned bikini. Text stated, Bikini top ?3.99 .

  • (d) A fourth poster showed a woman wearing a one-piece block patterned swimsuit, which was zipped to the neck. Text stated, Swimsuit ?19.99 .

  • (e) A fifth poster showed a woman standing in sea water up to her thighs. She wore a yellow patterned bikini and an opened scuba diving back pack. Text stated, Bikini top ?3.99 .

  • (f) A digital poster was seen outside Westfield shopping centre. It featured three images, the first was similar to poster (a) but the shot was zoomed out and showed more of the model. The second image was the same as poster (c) and the third featured a model in the sea, wearing a one-piece swimsuit and sunglasses. Issue

The ASA received ten complaints challenging whether the ads were offensive, degrading towards women, too sexual for general display, and unsuitable to be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The models in all the ads were wearing bikinis. However, we considered this was in line with consumer expectations in a campaign promoting swimwear. We noted that, although the photographs were close-up shots, there was no nudity in the ads and considered that neither the models' poses nor expressions were overtly sexual. . While we considered that the poses could be seen as mildly sexual, in the context of a campaign for swimwear, we considered that they were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We investigated ads (a), (b), (c), and (e) under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach.

Ads (a), (b), (d) and (f) featured models who were leaning their heads back towards the sun, with eyes closed. This had the effect of drawing attention to the models' chests which, in a different context, could be considered sexually suggestive. However, in the context of a campaign of posters for a range of swimwear, featuring models at the beach in the sun, we considered that the approach was in line with consumer expectations. The posters featured no nudity or overtly sexual poses. Although we welcomed H&M's decision to place the posters away from schools as a precautionary measure, we concluded that ads (a), (b), (c), (d) and (f) were suitable for general display and therefore not irresponsibly placed.

We investigated ads (a), (b), (c), (d) and (f) under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find them in breach.

 

  Figurative 'Distress' while Taking Ad Literally...

ASA dismisses whinges about Paddy Power advert


Link Here 5th August 2012

paddy power logoA radio ad for Paddy Power betting service stated Jack Cooper wrote on the Paddy Power Facebook wall I'll give you anything for a decent offer Paddy! We hear you Jack! Anything eh? Well, just chuck us a kidney and in return we'll give you ... this beauty for the golf. Back any player to win The Masters and if Tiger Woods wins, you get your money back! And, because there's another kidney where that came from, here's another cracker: We're playing six places on each-way bets! Bet online or on your Paddy Power mobile app and good luck with the dialysis. We hear you Jack Cooper!

Kidney Wales Foundation and 26 members of the public objected that the ad was offensive and likely to cause distress, in particular to kidney dialysis patients, transplant patients and their loved ones.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted the ad concentrated on the fictional Jack Cooper character and the lengths he would go to in order to obtain a decent offer from Paddy Power. Whilst exchanging a kidney for something desirable was not as well known as the familiar phrase give my right arm , we considered that within the context of this ad it would be understood as an extension of that phrase. We therefore considered that listeners would interpret the good luck with the dialysis comment within that very specific context and that it would be understood as a tongue-in-cheek comment aimed directly at the Jack Cooper character who had given away his kidneys in exchange for a good offer. Whilst the reference to such a serious medical procedure may have appeared flippant and could be seen as insensitive to people who had experienced dialysis, we considered that within the context of this particular ad, most listeners would understand that it was a fictional, slightly ridiculous situation which did not represent real life or real life situations. Whilst some listeners, including those who had experience of dialysis, may have found the ad distasteful, we concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.2 and 4.10 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

 

  ASA Don't Take the Bait...

Advert censor dismisses whinges about 3DD boobs in Piranha movie advert


Link Here 4th August 2012

Piranha DD Danielle Panabaker An ad seen on TV and streamed simultaneously online for the film Piranha 3DD , shown during a football match before 9pm, featured scenes that included women in bikinis who appeared to be at a water park. A voice-over said Let's all get wild and a subsequent voice-over was accompanied by on-screen text stating They're back with double the terror and double the D's . One shot showed a woman from the neck down running in a bikini and she had large enhanced breasts. The voice-over at the end stated Piranha 3DD .

Two complainants challenged whether:

  1. the ad was offensive, because it used gratuitous sexualised images of the women; and

  2. the TV ad was inappropriately scheduled before 9pm during a football match when children could have been viewing.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that several scenes showed quick-cuts of people in a water park, some of which showed women in sensual poses but with no sexual interaction. In one scene the camera lingered on the images of the torso of a woman with accentuated breasts which was repeated in a slightly closer view. However, it was clear that the overall impression created was intended to be humorous and tongue-in-cheek. Because of overall sense of humour and its tongue-in-cheek nature, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause widespread harm or offence.

On this point we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We considered that the overall effect of the scenes was mild and did not consider that the ad was inappropriate when broadcast after 7.30pm even during a football match which we understood may have had higher numbers of children watching than normal.

Although the ad featured some images which might be inappropriate for a very young audience, we concluded that the ad was not overly sexual and that the scheduling restriction applied was sufficient.

On this point we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 32.3 and 32.5.3 (Scheduling of television and radio advertisements, under-16s) but did not find it in breach.

 

  Don't Dew This at Home...

ASA bans Mountain Dew drink advert for imitable dangerous stunts


Link Here 2nd August 2012

mountain dew advert video An in-game ad for Mountain Dew Energy drink seen on various gaming-apps, a video sharing and a social media website, featured what appeared to be a teenager on a snowboard. The scene began with him sliding down an escalator. As he reached the bottom he grabbed a rope thrown to him by another teenager from the back of a moving underground train. He then jumped from the platform and surfed along the tracks on the snowboard and made celebratory gestures. He then fell headfirst onto the ground. The scene then cut to white noise with text stating don't Dew this at home . The final scene showed a group of men cheering and spraying the drink over themselves. One of the men's arms was in a cast.

  1. Four complainants challenged whether the ad was harmful because it featured a young adult engaging in dangerous behaviour which could encourage emulation.

  2. Three complainants challenged whether it was irresponsible as it appeared in media likely to be seen by, or have particular appeal to children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the scene depicted in the ad was not a UK underground system. Despite this, we considered that the scene was a realistic one and the on-screen text was a play on the name of the product rather than a direct caution that discouraged viewers from emulating similar stunts. Whilst we appreciated that the location was not similar to UK underground systems, it was likely to be familiar due to TV programmes and films. Because of the realistic nature of the ad, its familiarity, the dangerous and reckless nature of the stunt and the celebratory actors, one of whom had clearly sustained an injury, we concluded that the ad could encourage emulation of an unsafe practice and result in harm.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), and 4.5 (Harm and offence).

2. Upheld

We acknowledged that, after being informed of the complaints, Pepsi had taken steps to ensure the ad was not supported on apps that could be seen by under 18-year-olds. They nevertheless believed the ad clearly depicted a teenager or young adult performing the stunt, not a child. However, we noted that the style and graphics of the apps in which the ad appeared were likely to appeal to children and that it was not clear until the end of the ad whether the actors were teenagers or young adults. Pepsi said the actors were stunt men over the age of 18. However, we concluded that, because the ad was seen in media that was likely to have strong appeal to under-16s, it was irresponsible.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 4.4, 4.5 (Harm and offence), 5.1 and 5.1.4 (Children). Action

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told PepsiCo International Ltd not to use this ad in future.

 

 Updated: Distressing Inconsistency...

ASA changes its mind about Agent Provocateur lingerie advert


Link Here 2nd August 2012

agent provacateur video A video on the Agent Provocateur website www.agentprovocateur.com for their Soiree line of lingerie featured a woman in a nightgown, alone in her home. She was shown answering the telephone twice, the first time she answered, no one spoke. The second time there was the sound of someone laughing at the other end. The woman looked anxiously out of her window before several women, who were wearing revealing lingerie with stockings and long boots, appeared at the window and then inside the house. The women were shown dragging the other woman through the house who then adopted a series of poses, some sexual, alone and with the other women. During the course of the video, the woman looked visibly distressed and several times the position of her nightgown revealed her breasts. The group of women then appeared to attack the woman's body; she then she re-appeared wearing similar revealing lingerie to the group. Issue

The complainant objected that the ad was irresponsible as it appeared on a website that could be seen by children because it had no age restriction.

Agent Provocateur Ltd did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA was concerned by Agent Provocateur'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 respond promptly to our enquiries and we told them to do so in future.

The ad appeared in a section of Agent Provocateur's website relating to a specific line of lingerie and was not protected through age verification. Although we noted that the website was designed to appeal to adults rather than children through its style, colour and graphics and it promoted products that were likely to be seen as niche within the wider lingerie market, we considered that it featured erotic and fetish type scenes which some viewers would not find suitable to be seen by children.

Because of the sexually graphic and at times distressing nature of the video and the potential for children to share a web-link relatively easily we concluded that it was unsuitable for display on an openly-accessible website where it might be viewed by children.

The ad breached CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility).

The ad must not appear again unless suitable precautions are taken to avoid it being seen by children.

In fact the video is now presented on the website with the warning:

Caution. Video contains sexy and provocative footage (not recommended for under 18).

A Distressing Change of Opinion by ASA

See article from melonfarmers.co.uk

Strange that the ASA seemed to have changed their minds about the same video since they last investigated it in March of this year.

In August 2012 ASA noted:

Because of the sexually graphic and at times distressing nature of the video...

In March 2012 ASA noted:

We also considered the ad was unlikely to cause fear or distress.

ASA's Assessment from March 2012 read:

The ASA noted the online video appeared in the context of the website of a luxury lingerie retailer. We acknowledged some viewers might find some of the scenes distasteful but considered the highly stylised nature and clearly fictional content of the video meant it was unlikely to be interpreted by most viewers in the way the complainant suggested. We considered the ads did not demean women and were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to visitors to the Agent Provocateur website. We also considered the ad was unlikely to cause fear or distress without justifiable reason. We therefore concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

You'd think that the censors would try and maintain a bit of consistency about their work. There seems little point in having censors if their decisions are arbitrary.

Update: Advert censors admit being 'distressed', not because the advert is 'distressing', but because Reg Bailey told them to be 'distressed'

2nd August 2012. See  article from  campaignlive.co.uk

ASA logo An ASA spokesman said it did not investigate the online advert's inappropriateness for children during the original investigation because it can't tack on its own challenges . [Although it often does!]

The spokesman added that the decision was influenced by the Bailey Review into the sexualisation of childhood because it is now taking a tougher line on concerns about advertising and children .

 

  Researching Easy Offence...

ASA claims that the public is as easily offended as it is


Link Here 31st July 2012

asa public perceptions The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has published the findings of research, conducted on its behalf by Ipsos MORI, into the public's views on what is harmful and offensive in UK advertising.

Specific rules in the Advertising Codes require the ASA to make judgements based on prevailing standards in society. The qualitative and quantitative research undertaken with the general public, parents, and children will help inform our decision making on matters relating to harm and offence.

Encouragingly, the findings indicate that the ASA is broadly getting it right when it comes to judging where the line should be drawn in terms of inappropriate or harmful ads. However, the research also reveals some unexpected findings, which indicate some public concern about hard-hitting charity and public services ads.

Specifically, most children in the qualitative research spontaneously mentioned charity and public service ads as those that had upset or bothered them or younger siblings recently. Some felt upset by the ads themselves, while others were worried because they wanted to help the cause but were unable to do so. Those ads were also a particular concern for parents.

When it came to harm and offence more generally, other areas of concern spontaneously mentioned by participants were: sexual content and nudity, body image, violent content and gender stereotypes.

In summary, the research reveals that:

  • Overall, participants' views of ads that had been the subject of complaints were broadly in line with the decisions taken by the ASA
  • 16% said they had been personally offended by an ad or ads in the last twelve months, slightly lower than the 19% who had been offended when similar ASA research was conducted in 2002
  • Participants felt that the wider media showed stronger harmful and offensive content than advertising
  • Protecting children from potential harm was a key priority for both parents and non-parents alike, rather than just a concern for parents
  • 30% of children aged 11-16 surveyed said they had been bothered by an ad in the last 12 months. Sexual, violent and scary content were their main reasons.

In more detail, the research reveals that:

  • Charity and public service ads. Some participants argued that those ads can go too far, using distressing content to make people feel upset or guilty in a way that they considered inappropriate. Some parents felt that some charity ads were targeting their children directly, which then put pressure on them to donate money. Others felt those ads should have more scope to shock because of their worthwhile aims
  • Portrayal of body image. Despite widespread spontaneous concerns about the portrayal of unrealistic body image - seen as both offensive and harmful by many participants, particularly women - only a minority felt that specific examples of those ads should be banned. Instead, advertising generally was seen as contributing to a broader culture where women -- and particularly girls -- can be made to feel bad about themselves
  • Sexual content and nudity. A few participants had concerns about sexual content and nudity in advertising, particularly where they could see no link between sex and the product being advertised. However, many were not worried by the current level of sexual content and nudity in advertising, describing it as relatively inoffensive compared to other types of media
  • Ads for sex shops and lap dancing clubs. Those were not a spontaneous concern for participants. Most did not find the examples they were shown personally offensive, but views were more divided about whether or not they were harmful to children
  • Ads that depict gender stereotypes. Those were also mentioned spontaneously, with concerns about women being objectified and men being portrayed as stupid or engaging in juvenile behaviour
  • Violent and scary content. Few adults reported having been offended by that in advertising recently. Concerns were more focused on ads for violent films and computer games and their potentially harmful impact on children and young men. Adult participants mentioned public service ads that featured violence or peril and whether they should be part of pre-watershed programming.

Chairman of the ASA, Lord Smith says:

This research is invaluable in giving us the opportunity to listen to what the public thinks on matters of harm and offence in ads. While it is reassuring that we generally seem to be getting things right, we cannot ignore the real concerns that have been raised, particularly around children. We will now reflect on the findings, for example making sure we consider the perspectives of children even more carefully in the future.

 

 Update: Censor Duty...

ASA whinge at PG rated advert for Call of Duty game shown on daytime TV


Link Here 25th July 2012  full story: Call of Duty...Nutters wound up by warfare video game series

Call Duty Modern Warfare Xbox A TV ad for the computer game Call of Duty: MW3 , opened with on-screen text stating AM3RICA , followed by computer-generated scenes of New York under military assault, with buildings exploding and catching fire, soldiers loading guns and a submarine firing rockets. On-screen text stated 3NGLAND , followed by scenes of warfare in London, including armed men firing at a lorry until it crashed and a helicopter firing rockets. On-screen text then stated FRANC3 , followed by scenes of Paris under attack, featuring soldiers and vehicles firing weapons. On-screen text then stated G3RMANY , followed by scenes of tanks driving down the streets, soldiers abseiling down the side of a building, planes firing overhead and a burnt-out building toppling over. A voice-over stated, The world as you knew it is gone. How far will you go to bring it back? The ad featured further scenes of armed warfare and destruction, including soldiers firing weapons, military vehicles firing rockets at buildings and explosions. An end-frame stated CALL OF DUTY. MW3. 08.11.11. Pre-Order Now For XBox 360 and featured the logo for certificate 18. A sound-track featured throughout the ad as well as sound effects for weapons being fired, explosions and soldiers shouting.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a timing restriction such that it should not be broadcast in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to persons below the age of 16 years. Issue

Two viewers challenged whether the ad was inappropriate for broadcast during the day when children would be watching. One of the viewers reported that their children, aged between two and four, had been frightened by the ad.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA understood that the ad had been cleared with a scheduling restriction that meant it should not be broadcast in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to persons below the age of 16 (an ex-kids restriction). We noted that the ad was broadcast at 2.30pm during a premier league football match and that audience index figures showed that a small proportion of viewers were children aged under 16. We also noted Activision's comment that the ad had been given a Parental Guidance (PG) certificate by the BBFC for in-store use, which meant that it had been rated as being suitable for general viewing, although some scenes may not be suitable for young children.

We noted the ad featured computer-generated scenes of warfare in various cities around the world. The ad contained scenes of extensive gunfire, explosions and destruction, and these scenes were accompanied by sound effects of weapons being fired, explosions and soldiers shouting. We also noted the ad featured music in the background which sounded like a low-pitched siren and which added to the dramatic nature of the scenes. We considered that the scenes of violence and destruction, together with the sound effects and music, could cause distress to some children who might see the ad. Although we noted that the ad was only shown during the football, we concluded that it was inappropriate for broadcast during the day when young children might be watching and the ex-kids restriction was insufficient. We considered a post 7.30pm restriction would have been more appropriate.

The ad breached BCAP Code rules 5.1 (Harm and offence) and 32.3 (Scheduling). Action

The ad must not be broadcast again before 7.30pm.

 

 Update: ASA Show Its Glamorous Side...

ASA dismiss whinges about Sunday Sport advert on daytime TV


Link Here 19th July 2012

keep britain boring advertA TV ad, for the Sunday Sport and Midweek Sport newspapers, on 19 November 2011, started with a female voice-over stating, The following advertisement is sponsored by Keep Britain Boring and a Union Jack and the text KEEP BRITAIN BORING featured on-screen. A male voice-over continued, It has been brought to our attention that the all-colour Sunday Sport and the Midweek Sport are available at all good newsagents. Apparently they are packed full of stunning babes, shocking exclusives, the funniest stories and, of course, great football coverage. Outrageous! Gorgeous glamour girls jumping out from every page, jaw-dropping photos and staggering stories to make you laugh. How dare they! Keep Britain boring! I certainly won't be buying the Sunday Sport tomorrow or the Midweek Sport on Wednesday.

The ad featured images of front covers of the Sunday Sport and the Midweek Sport newspapers. One front cover featured the headline TV SOAP BABES' TOPLESS HOLIDAY SNAPS! . Another featured the headline GIRLS, GIRLS AND MORE GIRLS . Another front cover featured an image of a woman wearing underwear and stockings bending forward with her arms crossed under her chest and the headline IT'S AN ALL OUT PHWOAR ZONE! .

The ad also featured several brief images of women wearing only underwear or bikinis. The first image featured a woman in her underwear with her bra straps falling off her shoulders and her arms folded across her mid-riff. The second image featured a woman in black satin underwear and suspender belt posing with her arms behind her head. The third image featured three women, all wearing underwear; one standing sideways on, one kneeling down with one hand behind her head and the other sitting with her legs wide apart, one hand running through her hair and the other hand pulling down the top of her knickers. The fourth image featured a woman in a string bikini with wet hair standing sideways on. The fifth image featured a woman in lace underwear, standing with her legs apart and one hand placed at the top of her knickers. The sixth image featured a woman in her underwear kneeling on a bed with her legs apart and both hands hooked around the top of her knickers. The seventh image featured a woman in her underwear with one bra strap falling off her shoulder, her hand placed on her face with one finger in her open mouth.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a timing restriction such that it should not be broadcast in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to persons below the age of 16 years. Issue

Three complainants challenged whether the ad:

  1. was offensive; and

  2. was inappropriate for broadcast during the day when children would be watching. BCAP Code 32.34.2 Response

1. & 2. Sunday Sport (2011) Ltd (Sunday Sport) said the ad was cleared by Clearcast with a restriction such that the ad could not be transmitted in the breaks immediately before, during or immediately after children's programmes. They said the media schedule adhered to the restriction. They confirmed that the ad appeared on Sky Sports News only on 19 November 2011. The media brief was to deliver to Men 16--34 (Primary Audience) and Men (Secondary Audience). Sunday Sport believed Sky Sports News was the ideal channel to deliver to this audience and provided a copy of the station's profile. Sunday Sport believed the ad reflected the content of the newspaper and was appropriate to the target audience. They did not believe the ad was offensive or was inappropriately scheduled.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA understood that the complainants had seen the ad on Sky Sports News during the programme Gillette Soccer Saturday on Saturday 19 November 2011 at around 3pm and we understood it had not been broadcast on any other channel. We understood that it had been targeted at a predominantly male audience and noted that the channel's audience profile indicated that 74% of its viewers were men and eight out of ten viewers were aged between 16 and 54. We noted Sunday Sport's comment that the ad reflected the content of its newspaper. We also noted that whilst some of the images shown featured women in sexualised poses, we considered that their impact was reduced due to the brief duration of the images and the fast cutting style of the ad. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We considered that the ad was mildly sexual in content and that some parents would consider it inappropriate for broadcast at times when children might be watching TV unaccompanied. We noted that the ad had been given an ex-kids restriction by Clearcast which we considered appropriate. We understood from audience index figures that a small proportion of viewers watching Gillette Soccer Saturday on the day in question were children under 16 years of age and therefore the ad had been broadcast in accordance with the restriction. We noted that the seven images of women in their underwear or bikinis were fleeting and stayed on-screen for less than one second each and made up a small part of the ad. We therefore concluded that the scheduling restriction applied was sufficient and the ad was not inappropriate for broadcast during the day at other times when children might be watching TV in family viewing time.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 32.3 (Scheduling) but did not find it in breach.

 

  Lynx Attracts Nutter Complaints...

ASA dismiss whinges about TV advert in style of a news report of the chaos caused by Lynx Attract


Link Here 14th July 2012

lynx attract videoA TV ad, for Lynx Attract deodorant, began with large on-screen text that stated Breaking News while news bulletin style music played. The text remained on screen in the top left-hand corner of the screen throughout the ad. A newsreader, shown in a TV studio, said News reports just in of an epidemic spreading across the world. Earlier today in Barcelona a light aircraft made an emergency landing, where it is believed the pilot and passengers became entangled . Filmed showed the aircraft with the occupants removing their clothing. On-screen text stated LYNX EFFECT EPIDEMIC and FIRST LYNX FOR WOMEN CAUSES CHAOS . The newsreader continued In Berlin escaped animals bring the City to a standstill. Eyewitnesses at the zoo were claiming keepers were openly using the spray . Animals were shown running amok, including a gorilla holding a bra on top of a bus with 69 BERLIN on the front display. The newsreader said Scenes in New York show how quickly the epidemic is spreading. Emergency responders say the scale of the chaos may be beyond any sense of control . Scenes were shown of people dressed in gas masks and protective clothing pulling semi-naked couples apart on the streets, while sirens could be heard in the background. A couple were shown on a balcony removing their clothing as they rushed towards each other. The newsreader continued Felicity Jones is in New York and the reporter was shown trying to speak to the camera before being picked up by a topless man wearing a rabbit mask. The newsreader said The EU are warning men and women stay inside, lock your doors. Avoid all contact with the opposite sex and do not buy new Lynx Attract as an EU spokesman was seen kissing a female reporter.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a post 7.30pm restriction.

  1. Ten viewers challenged whether the ad, which gave the impression that it was a newsflash, was quickly recognisable as an ad.

  2. Nineteen viewers challenged whether the sexual content of the ad was offensive. Five of those viewers also challenged whether the ad was appropriate to be broadcast when children might be watching.

  3. Four viewers challenged whether the ad was offensive, because it made light of serious issues such as aeroplane accidents and epidemics.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted BCAP Code rule 2.2 stated that if an ad featured elements reminiscent of a news bulletin then the audience should be able to recognise quickly the message as an ad. In this case, although the ad was in the style of a news bulletin with text stating Breaking News remaining on-screen throughout, we considered that it was nonetheless quickly recognisable as an ad. The newsreader's tone lacked urgency and the scenes of the people undressing and kissing in the plane established early in the ad that it was clearly fantasy. Those scenes were followed by on-screen text stating LYNX EFFECT EPIDEMIC and FIRST LYNX FOR WOMEN CAUSES CHAOS with the product pictured at the top of the screen, emphasising that the material was an ad and not a news bulletin.

We considered that, because the comic nature of the ad was established early, it was unlikely to be understood by viewers to be part of a real news bulletin and concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 2.1 and 2.2 (Recognition of advertising), but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We understood that Unilever intended the ad for a more adult audience and had scheduled it post 9pm although Clearcast had applied a post 7.30pm restriction. In most cases the ad had been broadcast after 9pm except where, due to an error by one broadcaster, it was shown after 7.30pm.

Even though the people featured in the ad were either undressing or shown in their underwear, we noted that no actual nudity was featured, and considered the sexual content was relatively mild. Although some viewers found the sexual content offensive, we considered that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to most adults.

Regarding the scheduling, although the relatively mild sexual content would likely be considered inappropriate by most parents for children to see, we considered that the post 7.30pm restriction would minimise the risk of children, and particularly very young children, from seeing the ad. We concluded that the timing restriction applied was appropriate.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.2 (Harm and Offence) and 32.3 (Scheduling), but did not find it in breach.

3. Not upheld

We noted the ad did not show a plane accident, but referred to an emergency landing caused by passengers becoming amorous. We also noted the ad referred to an epidemic , but the scenarios were not rooted in reality and did not represent any real life incidents. We understood that the references to an emergency plane landing and an epidemic might not have been to all tastes, but considered that, given the way the material was presented, the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to viewers.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

 

  Nooo...Women's Forums Would Never Say Anything Bad about Men...

But if they did... then one has to address the aggregation of posters, not the forum itself


Link Here 4th July 2012

fathers4justice advertA national press ad for Fathers4Justice, seen on Friday 16 March 2012 was headlined Say it with hate this Mother's Day . The ad showed a picture of a toddler with various negative words written all over his body including pig, rioter, wife beater, etc. Text stated Fathers4Justice are writing to all advertisers this Mother's Day to inform them that the Mumsnet web site carries abusive and distressing anti-male content which promotes gender hatred against men and boys. We believe that the general sexist labelling of men and boys as 'rapists', 'paedophiles' and 'wife beaters' is as unacceptable and offensive as racism and homophobia. Fathers4Justice are asking advertisers to suspend their advertising on Mumsnet until founder Justine Roberts adopts a zero tolerance policy to gender hatred. Promote a message of love, not hate this Mother's Day. Join our boycott of Mumsnet at ... .

Ten people complained about the ad.

  1. Eight of the complainants challenged whether the claim Mumsnet web site carries abusive and distressing anti-male content which promotes gender hatred against men and boys was misleading and could be substantiated.

  2. Three of the complainants also challenged whether the claim that Mumsnet had unfairly generalised men and boys as rapists, paedophiles and wife beaters was misleading and could be substantiated.

  3. Five of the complainants also challenged whether the picture of the toddler with various derogatory remarks written over his body was offensive.

1. & 2. Fathers4Justice (F4J) said in their view the ad underplayed the seriousness and gravity of the content they had seen on Mumsnet and supplied the ASA with a number of screenshots of the Mumsnet website which they believed was evidence of highly offensive anti-male gender hatred. They said that they had complained about the content to Mumsnet and asked them to remove this content and commit to a zero tolerance policy on gender hatred but Mumsnet had refused and only some of the content was removed. As such, F4J believed that Mumsnet were responsible for such content.

F4J said that abusive, anti-male content continued to be posted on the site and considered that highlighting this was a matter of public interest and that the ad was an entirely legitimate way of raising this matter.

ASA Decision: Complaints 1. & 2. Upheld

The ASA noted the response from F4J who understood that Mumsnet were responsible for posts written by users on the website's forums. We also noted however that F4J had not sent us anything to suggest that Mumsnet endorsed any of the views expressed on its web forums or any editorial content from the Mumsnet website to suggest that the website owners themselves harboured or promoted gender hatred against men or boys. We also considered that the claim the general sexist labelling of men and boys as 'rapists', 'paedophiles' and 'wife beaters' is as unacceptable and offensive as racism and homophobia in the context of the ad implied that Mumsnet themselves had unfairly generalised men and boys in this way in their editorial content and yet we noted that F4J had also not provided us with any evidence to suggest that this was the case.

We considered that many online web forums and comments sections of websites were likely to feature a range of views from across society, with some views being more extreme than others. Mumsnet said that their forums regularly received over 25,000 posts per day and while it was not possible to monitor all of these posts, they relied on users of the forum to report any content that they considered to be offensive, which Mumsnet would then delete if it breached their terms of use. We contacted Mumsnet who reiterated that they did not tolerate any kind of prejudice on the site and this included any kind of gender bias but users did need to bring this to their attention if action was to be taken. We considered that whilst some users of the website had made negative comments about men in its forums, it was misleading of F4J to imply through this ad that Mumsnet themselves had made or endorsed those comments. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the code.

On points 1. & 2., the ad breached CAP Code rule 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

3. Not upheld

We noted the complainants' concerns about the image used in the ad. However, we considered that in the context of the ad it was clear what message F4J were trying to convey by using it, i.e. that the image was supposed to visually represent unfair and offensive labelling of men. While we understood that the image had caused some distress to the complainants, we concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence

On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach. Action

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We asked F4J not to imply that forum postings on Mumsnet's website indicated endorsement or support from the website itself.

 

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