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2014: Oct-Dec

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Legal, Decent, Honest, Truthful?...

ASA dishonestly denies truth and demands propaganda instead for vodka advert

Link Here27th December 2014

A national press ad for Belvedere Vodka featured a group of friends on a night out, posing for a group photo. Tex stated THERE'S A NIGHT OUT. AND THERE'S A NIGHT OUT. BELVEDERE VODKA. KNOW THE DIFFERENCE . Issue

The complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because they believed it implied that drinking alcohol was a key component of a night out.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted the ad featured a group of friends who appeared to be either at a bar or party and which showed most of the characters on a sofa with a woman lying across their knees. The image also featured one man in a masquerade mask, one with a maracas instrument and with his bow tie undone and another behind the group with an arm raised in celebration. The characters appeared to be posing for a group photo and in high spirits.

Whilst the ad did not feature any alcohol being consumed, we considered the very playful scene, alongside the text There's a night out. And there's a night out and the image of the Belvedere vodka bottle superimposed over the main image, suggested that alcohol had been consumed prior to the photo being taken and that alcohol was therefore partly responsible for the featured scene. Furthermore, in the context of an ad for vodka which featured an image of a people at a party, we considered the strapline There's a night out. And there's a night out would be understood by consumers as a reference to the enjoyment of a party or night out (such as the one featured in the image) with the vodka product being consumed, compared to the enjoyment of a night out without it. Whilst the ad did not make any references to excessive alcohol consumption, we considered the juxtaposition of the strapline, the image of the vodka bottle and the image of the group of people suggested that alcohol was the major element of the apparent success of the featured party. We therefore considered the ad implied that alcohol was a key component of a social event and concluded that the ad breached the Code.

The ad should not appear again in its current form.



Updated: Own Goal...

Notts County boss takes a pop shot at a Peta poster

Link Here7th December 2014
Full story: Peta...Animal activists challenging the media
An advertising poster in a Peta campaign against consuming dairy produce has been pulled from display following whinges from Notts County football club.

The billboard image shows a startled woman whose face has been drenched in a white liquid substance next to the words Some bodily fluids are bad for you. Don't swallow. Ditch Dairy.

Notts County complained that the nearby advert was not in keeping with [their] community and family-focused values. Damian Irvine, Commercial Director at the club ejaculated:

Families coming along to Meadow Lane for our blockbuster Christmas matches against Swindon Town on December 13 and against MK Dons on Boxing Day will not be subjected to the ads.

The design, which was described by the local paper as like the aftermath of a sex act , was commissioned and set to be displayed throughout December after a Swedish study claimed that an increased risk of bone fractures and mortality are linked to dairy products .

Mimi Bekhechi, director of Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), said:

The billboard is a cheeky way to alert passers-by to the dangers of drinking cows' milk.

Update: Nutter vs Nutter vs Censor

7th December 2014. See  article from

An animal rights group has been branded misogynistic by a women's rights group. Campaign group Resist Porn Culture claimed the Peta poster was sexist and called for tighter regulations.

Lisa Marie-Taylor, from Resist Porn Culture, said adverts of this kind were inspired by the pornography industry, which she claiomed depicts women as subservient and often brutalised beings :

Peta's sexist, misogynist adverts aim to be original and thought-provoking but they are neither. Resist Porn Culture calls on the ASA to implement more stringent guidelines around such adverts and insists that the ASA adheres to its purpose and strategy statement 'to make every UK ad a responsible ad'.

A Peta spokesman said the billboard was a tongue-in-cheek warning about the dairy industry's treatment of cows:

While some people might disagree with our tactics, there is no one final word on what offends women and what doesn't. Many of the women here - and the women who have written in telling us they love the ad - have a different opinion.

Censors at the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said they had received 9 complaints and were considering an investigation. '

Update: Taken down

9th December 2014. See  article from

The anti-dairy poster by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) was placed outside Notts County FC's stadium on Thursday. It was taken down the next day and has now been replaced. Peta said another advert against eating turkey for Christmas would go up later this week instead.



Bird Brained Censorship...

Advert censor bans estate agent advert claiming that the bikini image somehow causes widespread offence

Link Here3rd December 2014

An ad in the Bucks Free Press for an estate agent, featured an image of six women, from behind, wearing Whirlybird branded bikinis. Text stated Would you like one of the ladies at Whirlybird Property to value your home? if so, call now and take advantage of our preferential rates for selling your property . Issue

Two complainants, who believed the ads were sexist and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was offensive.

ASA Assessment: complaints upheld

Whilst the ASA noted the bikinis worn by the six women featured in the ad were Whirlybird Property branded, we considered the use of the image was incongruous to the subject of property lettings. Although the image was not sexually explicit; we considered that, alongside the text Would you like one of the ladies at Whirlybird to value your home? it was likely to be seen as sexist and demeaning to women because it used their physical features to draw attention to the product. We therefore concluded that, in this context, the image was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.



Shameful Whingers...

PC campaigners pleasure themselves by complaining about a Sony PS Vita advert

Link Here26th November 2014
Sony has taken down one a video from YouTube after a few 'outraged' whingers claimed that the ad was sexist and disgusting.

The ad featuring a sexy female doctor trying to market Sony's PlayStation Vita, which allows gamers to play on a second screen connected to the console when the TV is not available.

The hot lady doctor doesn't directly talk about PS Vita, at least not for most of the video. Instead, she spouts out an innuendo-ridden monologue that appears to imply that the viewer has been masturbating too much:

How many times did you do it yesterday? Are you afraid you're doing it too often? In the bedroom under your blankets? Or perhaps you prefer the kitchen or in the toilet? You no longer have to feel ashamed. Everybody's doing it because it's fantastic. And now you can keep going all day long.

The Verge's Kwame Opam calls the ad a little sleazy,   Now, there's nothing wrong with being sexy ...BUT... that sexiness is in service of a male audience that's fixed and behaves in a certain way.



Ban Everything...

A few miserable whinges about Sainsbury's Christmas truce advert being somehow disrespectful

Link Here15th November 2014
240 people have whinged about the new Sainsbury's Christmas advert for its supposedly cynical use of First World War imagery to promote the supermarket's brand.

The advert is a dramatic three-minute recreation of the famous truce - when British and German soldiers laid down their weapons and met in no man's land.

Complaints have been registered with the advertising censor with the majority of those objecting to the supermarket's distasteful use of the conflict's 1914 Christmas Truce.

Sainsbury's has acknowledged that the advert has received complaints but insist they are delighted with the overall feedback. A spokesman said:

We've been really delighted by the amazing response to our Christmas ad which has been overwhelmingly positive from both customers and colleagues alike.

We're very proud of our work with The Royal British Legion and to be able to raise additional funds for them to mark the 20th anniversary of our relationship with them.



Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Lust...

Polish coffin company had fun with a sexy calendar and offends the Polish church

Link Here8th November 2014
A nude calendar advertising coffins has offended the Polish catholic church.

This calendar shoot of topless models caressing coffins is set to become a global hit - despite church whinges.

Polish casket company Lindner devised a unique way to brighten up their gloomy creations by draping them with sexy nude women. A spokesman for the company Bartek Lindner said:

Every edition is different and when we have too many women, female customers complain. But when we have too many men, male customers complain. So here we have men and women in one calendar as a compromise.

The photos were taken in the tourist city of Krakow, in southern Poland, The firm's owner Zbigniew Lindner said:

My son had the idea of creating the company's calendar so that we could show something half-serious, colourful, beautiful; the beauty of Polish girls and the beauty of our coffins. So much work goes into our coffins that are only seen for a few moments at the funeral.

We wanted to show that a coffin shouldn't be a sacred object - it's furniture, it's the last bed you'll ever sleep in. It isn't a religious symbol. It's a product.

The Catholic church in Poland has labelled the campaign inappropriate. A church spokesman has said that human death should be treated with solemnity and not mixed up with sex.



Updated: Perfect outrage over Victoria's Secret Perfect Body adverts...

So can political correctness deny attractiveness and somehow overrule human nature?

Link Here 7th November 2014
New Victoria's Secret adverts suggesting that their slim models have the perfect body have come under fire from the politically correct for the supposedly unhealthy and damaging message .

The American lingerie company, which now has seven shops here in the UK, has launched a marketing campaign to go along with its new bra range, entitled Body .

But the ads - which show models with the phrase The Perfect 'Body' emblazoned across their torsos - have sparked a petition, which has gathered about 500 signatures in a week i

Frances Black, a student at Leeds University, began the petition calling for Victoria's Secret to apologise for, and amend the irresponsible marketing of [its] new bra range . She said:

I just think it's a really, really damaging message to send to young women.

A brand like Victoria's Secret is hugely popular in America and in the UK, and they mainly market to young women.

It's really hurtful to women's self-esteem. I'd like them to apologise and take accountability for choosing the wrong words for the campaign.

I'd like them to amend the wording and pledge not to use such harmful language in the future.

Update: A Body for Every Body

7th November  2014. See  article from

Victoria's Secret has changed the wording of its new advert, after thousands signed a petition against it. The American lingerie company, which now has seven UK shops, offended the easily offended after suggesting that its slim models had the perfect body .

About 26,000 people signed a petition calling for Victoria's Secret to amend the irresponsible marketing , and now the company has changed the ads online.

Previously, the ads for its new Body bra range depicted 10 models in their underwear, with the play-on-words The perfect Body emblazoned across their torsos. Now they show the same image but read: A body for every body.

The Leeds University students who began the petition said they were pleased with the change in the wording, but felt it was still silly that the models were being suggested as a representation of every body .



A Date with PC Extremism...

Advert censor bans Sun's Dream Team advert for offering a date with a page 3 girl as a prize

Link Here5th November 2014

An email sent to subscribers to the Sun's Dream Team fantasy football competition stated You're signed up to Dream Team and for that we promise to love, adore and cherish you ... You can take your Dream Team experience to the next level by becoming a Chairman and creating a Mini League. Not only do you get to hammer your mates every week, but if you recruit 10 players or more to your league you will get: Entered into a prize draw for a date with a Page 3 girl - we might even let you pick which one, so feel free to start your research now ... Don't listen to your girlfriend when she says size doesn't matter. The bigger your Mini League is, the more prizes you can get your mitts on . Issue

The ASA received 1036 complaints, many of which were submitted as part of a campaign led by

  1. The complainants, who believed that to offer a date with a page-three girl as a prize was sexist and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was offensive and socially irresponsible.

  2. Many of the complainants also challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible for offering a date with a page-three girl as an incentive to gamble.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA understood that pay-to-play fantasy football games were regulated by the Gambling Commission as they were pool betting competitions and effectively involved a bet on the outcome of a series of uncertain sporting events. While we acknowledged that individuals were able to sign up to, and play, Dream Team for free, because pay-to-play options were available we understood it was still a gambling product. Therefore, we considered that the ad indirectly promoted a gambling product.

We understood that the Sun's male and female celebrities, including page-three girls, were involved in the Dream Team game as Chairpersons and had featured in previous promotional activities. We noted, however, that the celebrities were not simply featured in the promotional material, but that a date with a page three girl was offered as a prize. In the context of the ad, we considered that to offer a date with a woman as a reward for success in the game was demeaning to women and objectified those offered as prizes. We also considered that the wording we might even let you pick which one, so feel free to start your research now ... , further enhanced the impression that the women were simply objects to be selected at the whim and enjoyment of the winner, and had no choice in the matter themselves.

We considered that the primary motivation of a number players, both male and female, when signing up to the Dream Team game would be their interest in sport and fantasy football. We considered they would not necessarily expect a date with a page-three girl to be offered as a prize and that the notion of offering a date with a woman as a prize was likely to be offensive to a number of recipients.

Because we considered that the email presented the women as objects to be won, we concluded that it was sexist, offensive and socially irresponsible.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told the Sun to ensure that their future advertising contained nothing that was socially irresponsible or likely to cause serious or widespread offence.



Well Versed in Repression...

Kazakhstan hands out massive fine for advert depicting well known poets kissing

Link Here28th October 2014
An advertising agency in Kazakhstan has been handed a large fine for a poster of revered bard Kurmangazy locked in a passionate kiss with Alexander Pushkin, Russia's national poet.

Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan says it can't pay the 34 million tenge ($186,000) fine, and plans to appeal. The agency's general director Dariya Khamitzhanova said the ruling is:

nonsense. Not one of the 34 plaintiffs appeared in court. The whole hearing was marred by procedural violations,

The poster appeared in social media in August, enraging anti-gay activists who complained to the police that it insulted Kazakhs and Russians. Thirty-four staff and students of Kurmangazy Conservatory, in the southern city of Almaty, filed a suit last month demanding a million tenge each in moral damages.



Big Offence Taken...

Office space advert taken down after advert censor gets involved

Link Here26th October 2014
A billboard advertising office space in Exeter that offended Exeter Feminists is set to be censored.

The advert, promoting space for rent at Matford Business Centre in Exeter, featured a large chested woman in a bikini next to the slogan Size IS important .

After consideration by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), Matford Business Centre has now agreed to take down the advertising without the need for a formal investigation:

ASA advised 12 whingers that the billboard objectified women and used sexually provocative imagery to sell an unrelated product/ service and broke the censorship rules:

  • 1.3 - Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.
  • 4.1 - Marketing communications must not contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care must be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.



Updated: A word about ASA...

Advert censor confirms ban of product picture of a widely available and very popular joke mug

Link Here26th October 2014

An ad on the home page of, featured a product entitled the UNT Mug and showed a picture of the mug, which had a C-shaped handle and the letters UNT printed after it.

A complaint challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious offence. Ltd said the image referred to a product being sold on their ecommerce website and the C-shaped handle was the same shape as for regular mugs in the UK. They said the mug was a best-selling product and, therefore, regularly featured on their home page and product feeds. They said the product was fun, humorous and cheeky and did not cause offence. If consumers were offended by the product, they could choose not to visit their website in future. They said that they had not marketed the product in e-mail communications or advertised it more widely than the website, but over 325,000 people had viewed the product page directly, 19,000 people had shared the product through social media likes and 8 million people had viewed their home page since it's launch. They explained that the product could only be found via search engines if the specific name was searched for and they did not advertise it in any generic way.

ASA Assessment


Complaint Upheld

The ASA considered that the product listing was an ad which fell within the remit of the CAP Code. We understood that the product in question could be purchased directly from the website and therefore considered the product listing to be directly connected with the supply or transfer of goods and that the content therefore fell within the remit of the Code.

The full expletive had not been spelt out and, instead, used the handle of the mug to create the impression of the C . However, the handle was painted black and matched the UNT letters on the mug, contrasting the white background. We considered consumers would therefore understand that the intended meaning of the UNT letters placed next to the C shaped handle was to spell CUNT ; especially as the product was entitled the UNT Mug . While, in the context of an online shop, it was likely that the ad would be mostly viewed by adults rather than by children, we considered that a clear allusion to the word cunt was likely to offend and, therefore, marketing communications should only market products that contain expletives or words, or allusions to expletives or words that were likely to cause serious or widespread offence if they had given a clear and prominent warning on their website to potential viewers. We concluded the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad must not appear in its current form. We told Ltd to ensure that future marketing communications that market products containing expletives or words, or allusions to expletives or words, that were likely to cause serious or widespread offence, were given a clear and prominent warning on their website to potential viewers.

Update: Amazon likes to have fun too

26th October 2014.

This morning Amazon sent me an email showing that the company's marketing computer has a sense of humour. (And if anyone from ASA is reading this, no I was not offended, on the contrary, it brightened up my day)

Hello David

Customers who have shown an interest in Unt Coffee/tea Mug might also like to know about these products similar to Unt Coffee/tea Mug



Offsite Article: Envious of Miserable Britain...

Link Here23rd October 2014
Full story: Collective Shout...Nutter campaigners against sexualisation and the like
Australia's advert regulator allows a little sexy fun in advertising, and the moralists are not happy about it

See article from



An Advertising Boob...

Moscow road accidents reportedly blamed on advertising stunt

Link Here18th October 2014
An advertising campaign featuring  a woman's partially visible breasts has been blamed for more than 500 traffic accidents in one day.

The massive adverts placed on the side of 30 trucks driving around Moscow showed a woman's breasts cupped in her hands with the slogan They Attract on a banner obscuring the nipples.

The adverts were intended to show the powerful potential of advertising on the side of trucks.

But as the trucks trundled around the streets of the Russian capital, they reportedly left a trail of carnage as male drivers became so distracted they ploughed straight into each other. A total of 517 accidents were reported.

The police then sent out patrols to round up all the vehicles and impound them until the images could be removed.

Furious drivers across Moscow have now reportedly bombarded the agency with compensation claims.

A spokesman for the Sarafan Advertising Agency, which organised the promotion said:

We are planning to bring a new advertising format onto the market, encouraging companies to place their ads on the sides of trucks. We wanted to draw attention to this new format with this campaign.

In all cases of accidents, the car owners will receive compensation costs from us that aren't covered by their insurance.



A hand for the censors...

Pornhub advertises on Times Square but it doesn't take long before the billboard is taken down

Link Here10th October 2014
The adult website Pornhub took out an enormous billboard on Times Square to feature the winner of its contest seeking a great non-pornographic ad.

The winner is Nuri Galver, a copywriter from Istanbul, whose entry was chosen from more than 3,000 others. Galver envisioned more than just the image:

People of different nationalities, with different types of hand, will sing our 'All You Need Is Hand' song with the music of 'All You Need Is Love.' This will be our image film. Depending on budgetary situation, we can use celebrities in our movies. Sure, it increases the effect of the campaign.

But the advert did not last long. The hotel on which the billboard was hosted ordered its removal, although Pornhub reports that it received the hotel's approval before the ad's launch. Pornhub is now seeking an alternative site.

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