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Cruising the Subway...

Adverts for gay hook up website offend the Toronto Subway.

Link Here27th September 2015
Posters for gay hookup site were removed from the Toronto Subway because the company supposedly promoted sex in public places, which is against the law , according to a spokesperson from the Toronto Transit Commission. claim the 100 posters were only removed after they were seen inside train carriages, some were displayed outside a station from June to September without problems.



Fair Comment!...

ASA dismisses whinge about Paddy Power advert

Link Here27th September 2015

A national press ad for Paddy Power, which appeared in the Sport section of the Guardian, featured odds on the candidates for the 2015 FIFA presidential election. An image showed Sepp Blatter revealing the winner by holding up a piece of paper which said ME . Text at the top of the ad stated, JUST F**K OFF ALREADY! Issue

The complainant challenged whether the use of the word F**K was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

Not upheld

The ASA noted that the word F**K was partly obscured by asterisks, but acknowledged that the meaning of the word was still clear.

We noted that the ad appeared in the Sport section of the Guardian, which we understood had an adult readership and frequently contained swear words. We considered that readers of that section were likely to understand that the ad was intended to be a light hearted comment on the ongoing allegations of corruption within FIFA, and in particular the controversy surrounding Sepp Blatter's tenure as FIFA president. In that context, we considered the use of F**K was unlikely to cause offence to readers.

Because we did not consider the ad would be offensive to those who were likely to see it, we concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.



Update: ASA Smitten by Hell Pizza Flyer...

New Zealand advert censor whinges at Certificate of Mutherfuckin Awesomeness

Link Here1st September 2015
 New Zealand's Advertising Standards Authority has released its decision about a omplaint against fast-food chain Hell Pizza with its advertisement for the Flaming Dragon pizza. The ad stated in part:

Slay the dragon and receive...a certificate of mutherf**king awesomeness and Warning! It's even hotter and we're setting this b*%#@ on fire!

The complainants said they were offended by the language used in the colourful advertisement, which would be attractive to children:

I know I am sensitive about foul language compared to some folk, but surely this is going a bit far - this is a colourful flyer that I'm sure would be picked up by children in the household . I just didn't expect such content in a pizza advert.

I do realise that Hell do this sort of stuff to get a reaction - so they win either way don't they?

A Hell Pizza spokesperson said the pizza was strictly R18 as it contains the world's hottest chillies and as such the advertising is aimed at an adult audience .

The ASA ruled the advertisement breached social responsibility, decency and offensiveness in the Code of Ethics. The censor added that the flyer was not saved by the use of the symbols and asterisks in place of the letters in the expletives as they were still recognisable.



Declare your sponsors...

CAP publish new rules for video bloggers

Link Here19th August 2015
The Committee of Advertising Practice, CAP, is the arm of Advertising  Authority, ASA, charged with producing censorship rules for advertising. ASA have issued the following press release:

CAP have produced clear new guidance for vloggers to help them better understand how and when the advertising rules apply to their vlogs so that they are upfront and deal fairly with their followers.

The new guidance comes in response to calls for greater clarity from vloggers about when material in vlogs becomes advertising and how they can make that clear. It follows a ruling last year in which several vlogs (where there was a commercial relationship between the advertiser and the vloggers) were found to be misleading because they did not make clear before consumers engaged with the material that they were ads.

The advertising rules, which apply across media including online and to social media channels, state that ads must be obviously identifiable as such. If a vlogger is paid to promote a product or service and an advertiser controls the message then it becomes an ad. When that happens, like all advertisers, vloggers must be upfront and clearly signpost that they're advertising.

The scenarios covered in the guidance are:

  • Online marketing by a brand - where a brand collaborates with a vlogger and makes a vlog about the brand and/or its products and shares it on its own social media channels
  • "Advertorial" vlogs -- a whole video is in the usual style of the vlogger but the content is controlled by the brand and the vlogger has been paid
  • Commercial breaks within vlogs -- where most of the vlog is editorial material but there's also a specific section dedicated to the promotion of a product
  • Product placement - independent editorial content that also features a commercial message
  • Vlogger's video about their own product - the sole content of a vlog is a promotion of the vlogger's own merchandise
  • Editorial video referring to a vlogger's products -- a vlogger promotes their own product within a broader editorial piece
  • Sponsorship - a brand sponsors a vlogger to create a video but has no control of the content
  • Free items -- a brand sends a vlogger items for free without any control of the content of the vlog

The advertising rules do not cover or prohibit vloggers entering into commercial relationships and the ASA does not regulate editorial opinion. In response to feedback from vloggers, however, we're also reminding brands and agencies (be they advertising, digital or PR) looking to partner with vloggers of the need to be transparent. Any advertiser or agency that asks a vlogger not to be up-front (disclose) that they're advertising are asking them to break the advertising rules and potentially the law.

Launching the new guidance, Director of the Committees of Advertising Practice, Shahriar Coupal said:

Wherever ads appear we should be confident we can trust what an advertiser says; it's simply not fair if we're being advertised to and are not made aware of that fact. Our guidance will give vloggers greater confidence that they're sticking to the rules which in turn will help maintain the relationship and trust they've built with their followers.



Taste the Bush...

Premier Estates Wine has some unPC fun with a glass of wine

Link Here16th August 2015
Premier Estates Wine has been having fun with a video advert bearing the hashtag #TasteTheBush

The ad starts off with a presenter selling the merits of Premier Estates Wine but towards the end she places a glass red wine strategically in front of her and says:

Australia practically jumps out of the glass, in fact, some say you can almost taste the bush.'

Premier Estates Wine said the slogan #TasteTheBush conveys that 'tongue-in-cheek tone that's born from classic British humour.'

A few people had a whinge on Twitter and the advert censors at ASA have received at least one complaint.



Mike and his magic vest...

Australia censors Magic Mike XXL posters

Link Here20th July 2015
It looks like Australia have censored a Magic Mike XXL poster.

The original cinema poster features its stars showing off their bare chested torsos.

But Australian distributors have photoshopped the image and covered up the muscles with white t-shirts and vests.

The Mirror reports that the bus shelter posters have been printed on special paper which makes it look like the lads are wearing tops during the day, but at night their naked torsos are revealed.




Update: It's Only Rock 'n Roll...

London Transport censors whinge about Rolling Stones exhibition advert

Link Here8th July 2015
Even in their seventies, the Rolling Stones still have the power to get the establishment hot under the collar.  A poster for their new museum exhibition has been banned for being supposedly lewd.

The advert has their trademark logo of a cartoon mouth and protruding tongue covering the crotch of a woman's bikini bottom.

While it has already been used across social media, on news websites and by major companies such as Ticketmaster, bosses at Exterion Media, censors that approve posters to appear on the London Underground and at bus stops, insisted the logo be moved up to the woman's belly button before allowing it to go ahead.

This is despite the advert already being widely used by the band online to promote Exhibitionism , which opens at London's Saatchi Gallery next year.

A spokesman for the band said:

We are dumbfounded and perplexed at this rather silly decision. Perhaps the fact that it's the Rolling Stones and controversy seems to follow them everywhere.



Arbitrary Standards...

A few people claim that they are offended by the Beach Body Ready advert and ASA claims that they are not

Link Here1st July 2015
Before investigating the issues raised below we told Protein World that, due to our concerns about a range of health and weight loss claims, the ad could not appear again in its current form.

While the ad was prohibited from appearing again solely on those grounds, we undertook a separate investigation to establish whether the ad was in breach of the advertising rules on harm, offence and social responsibility.

A poster for a slimming product, seen on the London Underground network, stated ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY? and featured an image of a toned and athletic woman wearing a bikini.

378 complainants, who raised a range of issues around offence and potential harm, challenged whether:

  1. the ad implied that a body shape which differed from the idealised one presented was not good enough or in some way inferior and was, therefore, offensive; and
  2. the combination of an image of a very slim, toned body and the headline ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY? was socially irresponsible in the context of an ad for a slimming product.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA understood that the Copy Advice team had seen the ad prior to it appearing and advised that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. We recognised that beach body was a relatively well understood term that for some people had connotations of a toned, athletic physique similar to the image of the model in the ad. We considered that it also had a broader meaning - that of feeling sufficiently comfortable and confident with one's physical appearance to wear swimwear in a public environment. We considered the claim ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY? prompted readers to think about whether they were in the shape they wanted to be for the summer and we did not consider that the accompanying image implied that a different body shape to that shown was not good enough or was inferior. We concluded that the headline and image were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

2. Not upheld

Although we understood the claim Are you beach body ready? invited readers to think about their figures, we did not consider the image of the model would shame women who had different body shapes into believing they needed to take a slimming supplement to feel confident wearing swimwear in public. For that reason, we concluded the ad was not irresponsible.

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