Authorities on the Greek is land of Santorini have refused to allow an ad campaign that shows an exhausted donkey next to the words Donkeys Suffer for Tourists. Please Don't Ride Them to be run on local buses and taxis. The ads were
intended to be placed on vehicles across the island in time for the peak tourist season.
A local ad company representative explained that because many bus and taxi drivers also own donkeys who transport tourists up steep steps, the municipality of Santorini refused to issue the necessary authorisation to run the ads.
Posters advertising Morrissey's new album, California Son , have been removed from trains and stations after a commuter complained over the singer's politically incorrect views.
Morriseey has repeatedly denied accusations of racism and has previously spoken about how UK politics will not allow diverse opinion. In 2007, he sparked controversy by saying Britain was losing its national identity, saying in an interview with
the NME that England is a memory now.
Complainant Jack Dotchin said he was 'offended' by the former The Smiths frontman's views. He said:
[The things Morrissey has said] offend me and a lot of other people. He's very far right these days, going on about immigrants.
It's just strange to think Merseyrail, being a public service for the people, is advertising someone with his views.
It's just pictures of Morrissey with his new album. He's not doing anything inappropriate but his name is a by-name for questionable views at the moment.
A TV ad, video on demand (VOD) ad and a paid-for ad on Instagram for Macallan whisky, seen in December 2018:
a. The TV ad featured a man leaping off a cliff and tumbling towards the ground. As he fell, feathers started sprouting out of his arms and he began to grow wings. On-screen text stated Would you risk falling ... for the chance to fly?. As he
approached the ground he disappeared from view behind a mountainside and then reappeared after he had pulled out of the nosedive and started to fly upwards now that his wings were fully grown. An end-frame featured text stating The Macallan.
Make the call which was accompanied by an image of the whisky product in a glass.
b. The VOD ad, seen on the ITV hub, was a longer version of ad (a), but featured similar imagery and on-screen text. Unlike ad (a), that ad did not feature an image of the whisky product.
c. The paid-for ad on Instagram featured a video that was identical to ad (b). Issue
Six complainants challenged whether the ads were irresponsible and linked alcohol with daring, toughness or irresponsible behaviour.
Edrington Distillers Ltd t/a Macallan explained that the line Make The Call was used globally to describe the brand's philosophy. It was used in relation to the decisions that the brand had made in its own history, and was also relevant to the
audience's decisions made in their own lives. They said the ads featured a fantastical story about a man who took a big decision (i.e. made a call), found it difficult along the way, but was eventually rewarded. They believed the treatment of the
story was mystical, almost mythical, and was clearly removed from the real world.
In relation to ad (a), Clearcast explained that they had considered the daring and toughness Code rule when clearing the ad, and had decided that the treatment was fantastical enough to be acceptable.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
The ASA noted that the opening scene in all versions of the ad featured the man running and jumping off a cliff, and considered that could be seen as being reminiscent of the extreme sport of base-jumping. We noted that at that point in the ads,
there was no suggestion that the male character had any super-human attributes or powers, or that he was part of a mythical world; we considered the scenery featured was a typical mountainous landscape. We noted that in ads (b) and (c) the
character was seen peering over the edge of the cliff and there was a close-up of him clenching his fists. We considered that gave the impression that he was nervous about jumping and was building up the courage to do so. In that context, we
considered that the act of jumping off the cliff was very dangerous, potentially fatal, and consisted of extreme risk-taking behaviour. That impression was compounded by the text Would you risk falling ... for the chance to fly?.
Whilst we acknowledged that some elements of the ad were fantastical, such as the distance the man fell through the clouds, and the sprouting of wings which enabled him to fly away instead of hitting the ground, we considered, nevertheless, that
the central message of the ad, which was explicitly highlighted through the tagline Would you risk falling ... for the chance to fly?, was one of promoting risky or daring behaviour to reap possible rewards. Although the character was not seen
consuming alcohol at any point, we considered the ads made a clear association between an alcoholic product and potentially very dangerous, daring behaviour and concluded that they were irresponsible.
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Edrington Distillers Ltd t/a Macallan to ensure in future their ads did not link alcohol with daring, toughness or irresponsible behaviour.